SANTA MONICA—A suspect has been arrested for the assault of an elderly man in Santa Monica on Saturday, December 7.
The incident transpired at about 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of Wilshire and Lincoln Boulevard. The victim Dr. R.L. Wong, 87, was leaving a local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of 9th and Wilshire Boulevard. Wong just crossed Lincoln, when a when a man walked up to him and punched him in the face before fleeing the scene.
Authorities arrived at the scene about 12:15 p.m. to start the investigation. Wong was transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition to be treated for injuries sustained.
According to a Nextdoor post, the punch split Wong’s upper lip causing severe bleeding and damaged his teeth and dentures. Police say the altercation was unprovoked.
According Lieutenant Candice Cobarrubias, of the Santa Monica Police Department, the suspect was found in the area of the 800 block of Ocean Avenue in Pacific Park later that day. The suspect was taken into custody for elder abuse. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.
The suspect has been identified as Joseph Jean Gilbert. Earlier reports described the suspect as a Hispanic or Caucasian male, with dark hair and standing 5 feet and 5 inches tall.
The Santa Monica Police Department indicated they are conducting follow up into the assault and the investigation is ongoing.