A 39-year-old transient has been arrested on suspicion of severely beating a homeless man in mid-February, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Sgt. Riley Harwood said Michael Keith Dawson, who was described as a local transient originally from Ventura, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in great bodily injury stemming from an incident that occurred on Feb. 13.
The 49-year-old man was found in Plaza del Mar Park, on Castillo and Cabrillo streets, by Santa Barbara City College security at 5:59 a.m. He was on the grass between the restrooms and tennis courts with severe injuries.
A major break occurred Wednesday when Officer Tom Eccles, investigating an unrelated misdemeanor battery involving homeless people in the 200 block of West Montecito Street, learned that a man named Mike had bragged that he had beaten a man to death in a park, Harwood said.
At 9:15 p.m. Officer Michael Epstein located Dawson in front of the 7-Eleven at 331 W. Montecito St., and detained him.
He was later booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $50,000, Harwood said.
The victim, whose name was not released, remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with serious injuries, Harwood said, but is expected to survive.