An elderly man was assaulted while walking in downtown Santa Monica Saturday morning, police said.
The man was walking near the intersection of Wilshire and Lincoln boulevards at 11:15 a.m. Saturday when a man punched him in the face, causing significant facial trauma, said Candice Cobarrubias, a Santa Monica Police Department lieutenant. A Nextdoor post sourced from an eyewitness identified the man as Dr. R. L. Wong, an 87-year-old resident of Santa Monica.
According to the Nextdoor post, Wong continued walking up Wilshire and turned north on 7th Street, where police responded to the incident at 12:25 p.m. Wong was admitted to a local hospital and is in stable condition.
Cobarrubias said officers arrested Joseph Jean Gilbert in Palisades Park at about 3 p.m. Saturday. He was charged with elder abuse and is in jail on $50,000 bail.
Gilbert has been booked into the county jail ten times in the last year, according to jail records. Gilbert was previously arrested in Santa Monica in January of this year for bothering customers at a Starbucks.
Wong, a longtime Santa Monica resident, had coffee Saturday morning at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the corner of 9th Street and Wilshire Boulevard and walked west on the north side of Wilshire, according to a post on Nextdoor that was sourced from an eyewitness. Wong had just crossed Lincoln Boulevard when Gilbert allegedly punched him and fled the area.
According to the Nextdoor post, the blow damaged Wong’s teeth and dentures and split his upper lip, causing severe bleeding.
This post was updated Dec. 11 at 1:04 p.m.