PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Two Santa Monica-area homeless men are scheduled to be arraigned today for the attempted murder of a female friend.
Arturo Perez-Argueta, 51, and Guillermo Gonzalez, 63, were arrested and booked Friday in Santa Monica with one count each of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime. They are both being held on $1 million bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Gonzalez, the purported boyfriend of the woman, was also saddled with one count of inflicting corporal injury on a cohabitant.
The two vagrants were spotted Friday near the 2700 block of Virginia Avenue, not far from the scene of the alleged crime.
Police said they had originally responded to a radio call reporting trouble in the 2400 block of Virginia Avenue on July 10 at approximately 12:17 a.m.
Upon arrival, officers said they contacted a woman who had been with her boyfriend and one of his pals. She noted that the three of them were all homeless.
The trio’s plan was to drink beer in Venice and find a place to sleep, officers said. In her boyfriend’s van, they ended up parking on Virginia Avenue, where they hoped to spend the night.
After sidling up to the curb, however, she started quarreling with the third wheel, officers said. The boyfriend demanded she quiet down so the neighbors wouldn’t get suspicious of their camping spot.
Things got serious when the boyfriend’s buddy suggested they kill her to make her shut up, police said.
The boyfriend threw the woman on the floor of the van and covered her mouth so she couldn’t scream, officers said. Her boyfriend started to choke her with both hands while his friend continued to egg him on.
After minutes of struggling, the woman was able to fight off both men and escape the van. She alerted the police with her cell phone.
The victim was transported to a local hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries.