Vincent Mike Zaragoza, 59
Vincent Mike Zaragoza, a 59-year-old Latino, was stabbed to death Thursday, June 30, in the 11800 block of Atlantic Avenue in Lynwood, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
According to witnesses, Zaragoza, who is homeless, got into an argument with two Latino men at Yvonne Burke-John D. Ham Park around 4 p.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.
The argument turned into a physical fight, the witnesses told investigators, and the two men began stabbing Zaragoza. One of the men walked away from the fight, Hernandez said, but the other continued to struggle with Zaragoza.
During the fight, Zaragoza forced the knife into one man's stomach, witnesses told investigators. Zaragoza then collapsed on the ground, and the man who had been stabbed left the park, witnesses said.
Zaragoza was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:01 p.m., according to coroner’s records.
Javier Solis, 43, who is homeless, walked to a friend’s house in Compton and asked him to call the police, Hernandez said. Solis was taken to a nearby hospital and then arrested on suspicion of murder, Hernandez said.
Compton police were aware that Zaragoza had died after a fight at the park, Hernandez said, “so they put two and two together.”
The third man has not been found or identified, Hernandez said.
Solis told investigators that he was attacked by Zaragoza without provocation and that he stabbed Zaragoza in self defense, Hernandez said. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges against Solis, Hernandez said, so Solis was released from jail July 7.
The department is still looking for witnesses who can clarify what happened in the park, Hernandez said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.