Transient accused of attempted murder, carjacking in separate Whittier incidents

WHITTIER — A transient accused of attempted murder for badly beating another transient with a wooden board Tuesday is also suspected of a carjacking the previous day, along with two women, authorities said.
Roderick Castro, 30, was initially booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following his arrest on the Greenway Trail just after 7:15 a.m., Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said. But the booking charge was later upgraded to attempted murder, and he is also now accused of a Sunday carjacking as well.
The attack took place about 10 a.m. at an abandoned building in the 12500 block of Whittier Boulevard, police said. Officers responded to a report from a female friend of the victim, who called for help from a nearby pharmacy.
Officers found the injured man, 53, “bleeding profusely from his head,” Whittier police officials said in a written statement. The suspect — later identified as Castro — had already fled the scene.
“Paramedics arrived and discovered serious head trauma and a possible puncture wound to the back of the victim’s left thigh,” according to the police statement. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.
A motive in the attack was not clear.
But police allege Monday’s attack was not Castro’s first felony of the week. He was first jailed on suspicion of a Sunday night carjacking at Hadley Street and Newlin Avenue before being connected to the attempted slaying.
A 50-year-old transient reported he had been talking with a man and two women when they got into an argument, and the three suspects took his 2004 Ford Expedition by force, Dean said. Though he was acquainted with the suspects, he could not provide police with their names.
The stolen SUV was soon found abandoned nearby, police added.
The carjacking victim Monday spotted one of the women involved in the carjacking at Kennedy Park and called police, who arrested her, according to the police statement. Follow up investigation led to the arrest of the other two suspects Tuesday.
“During the arrest of the other two suspects, detectives were able to connect the male suspect in the carjacking as the suspect in the attempt homicide,” according to the police statement.
Arrested along with Castro were April Montoya, 35, and Nicole Martin, 22, officials said. All were described as transients known to frequent the Whittier area.
Castro was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance due to a pre-existing warrant, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Montoya and Nicle, both arrested on suspicion of carjacking, were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances.

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