California suspect allegedly beat woman to death with rental scooter

Posted at 5:54 AM, May 14, 2019

LONG BEACH, California (KTLA) — A man was booked on suspicion of murder after a woman was beaten to death with an electric scooter outside a friend's home in Long Beach Monday afternoon, officials said.

The incident was reported about 12:30 p.m. near the corner of Obsipo Avenue and 64th Street, Shaunna Dandoy, a spokesperson for the Long Beach Police Department, told KTLA.

Police identified the victim as Rosa Elena Hernandez, 63, of Long Beach, but coroner's officials gave her name as Rosa Manjarrez de Hernandez. Family members said she simply went by Rosa Manjarrez.

Manjarrez had just finished eating with friends who live on 64th Street when she was attacked on the sidewalk. She had just started out on the three-block walk back to her home when the assailant approached her, according to her friend Gabriel Luquin.

Detectives believe the man physically assaulted Manjarrez, then began using an e-scooter as a weapon.

Dandoy said a bystander tried to intervene when the assailant grabbed the scooter. But later, when asked about a possible good Samaritan, Sgt. John Magallanes said he had no information about that, and added, "no one else was involved in that altercation."

Long Beach firefighters responded and found Manjarrez with significant injuries to her upper torso. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The attacker ran way from the scene. He was wearing a dark hoodie, dark pants and red shoes, and had facial hair, Magallanes said.

Around 5 p.m., a man was detained as a person of interest at a business near the corner of Downey Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.

That man was later booked on suspicion of murder and was being held on $2 million bail, officials said.

The suspect's name was not being released as police were still working to confirm his identifying information.

Luquin said the attacker was a man he recognized from around the neighborhood.

“It’s hard to believe when it happens,” he told KTLA.

Neighbor Veronica Morales said Manjarrez loved gardening, her husband and extended family — and was like family to many in the neighborhood as well.

“It’s shocking," Morales said. "Everybody in the neighborhood knew her.”

The investigation is ongoing. The motive behind the attack is unknown, and police could not say if it was random.

Police representatives declined to identify the brand of scooter that was used in the attack, but e-scooter rental company Bird confirmed it was be involved in the investigation.

"We are deeply saddened by this act of violence and our hearts and thoughts go out to the victim and her family," spokesperson Rebecca Hahn said in an emailed statement. "We will work with local law enforcement to help with the investigation into this tragedy."