Two men are facing misdemeanor charges this week after unrelated and random, violent attacks in Santa Monica. In both cases, the victims were minding their own business when they were suddenly punched or hit.

The first random attack happened Aug 11, when a man threw a rock at a stranger in the Burger King parking lot at 20th Street and Pico Boulevard around 6 a.m., according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

“The victim was struck on the left side of the face with a rock and the suspect ran away,” Lt. Saul Rodriguez told the Daily Press Thursday.

Forty minutes later, a man matching the same description punched another stranger in the face four blocks away, at Pico Place and 23rd Streets.

On Wednesday, two officers patrolling the Pico neighborhood recognized 35-year-old David De La Torre as matching the description of the attacker. When they approached him, De La Torre ran off, according to Lt. Rodriguez. He was eventually taken into custody.

De La Torre will face a judge Friday on charges for resisting address while police continue to investigate his possible connection to the random attacks. Rodriguez said De La Torre, a Santa Monica resident, was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily harm to a child.

The arrest came just two days after a separate unprovoked incident on San Vicente Boulevard near Palisades Park on Sept. 3. A couple was walking down the street when a stranger suddenly punched the woman in her face.

Police responded immediately and arrested another parolee, Peter Terrones, on misdemeanor assault charges. The victim and a witness identified the 58-year-old man as the attacker.

Terrones gave officers a Los Angeles address as his home.

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press

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