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Board to Approve $10,000 Reward in Beating Death of 60-year-old Man
By City News Service
Published July 17, 2008

Burke Commits $331,000 to Increase Patrols at Second District Park Pools

CNS – Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke on Tuesday, July 15, asked the Board of Supervisors to approve a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for the July 5 beating death of 60-year-old James Hurst, who was sleeping when three suspects attempted to rob him in Ted Watkins Park.

According to police reports, Hurst lost consciousness after the suspects hit him in the head two-to-three times with a blunt object. After he regained his consciousness, he was able to walk from the park on Century Blvd. & Success Ave. to 92nd & Central Ave., where he called 911 from a pay phone. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the call and the victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he died the next day (July 6) from injuries to his head.

The beating at Ted Watkins Park followed an incident at the 109th Street Swimming Pool in Watts, where the pool was closed after up to 30 young men reportedly went on a rampage overwhelming two armed guards and six pool workers, forcing the pool manager, a lifeguard and a locker room attendant into the water.

In the aftermath of the unprovoked attacks at parks in the her district, Burke has committed $331,000 in discretionary funds to increase patrols at Second District swimming pools this summer. The funds will allow the County’s Office of Public Safety to maintain its 10-hour coverage by eight officers, seven days a week through Labor Day.

“Our pools are our most valuable resource for youth, seniors and families, particularly during this summer heat wave,” Burke added. “With these additional discretionary funds, our goal is to make sure that our parks are safe zones that are crime free this summer.”

Anyone with information in the fatal beating of James Hurst at Ted Watkins Park should contact Detectives Barron or Payton at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.


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