LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles police Wednesday announced the arrests of two people in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man during an argument on a downtown sidewalk.
Eric Cleto, 25, and Johnnie Garay, 26, are suspected in the Dec. 10 stabbing death of 33-year-old Malcom Collins, the father of a young daughter and a recent college graduate.
Los Angeles police said Cleto and Garay were arrested Feb. 22, and subsequently charged with murder. Both remain jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
According to police, surveillance video shows Collins talking with the two suspects around 10:50 p.m. Dec. 10 in the 200 block of West Seventh Street. The discussion eventually turns into an argument and a physical altercation.
“Both Cleto and Garay ultimately attacked Mr. Collins,” LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett said at a news conference announcing the arrests. “It was determined that during that attack, Mr. Cleto stabbed Malcom Collins in the abdomen.”
It was unclear exactly what sparked the argument. Police said the suspects did not know Collins. The suspects were described as half-brothers.
Collins’ father, Mark, told reporters his soul “was ripped apart from this.” He said he was “thankful for the LAPD. They have just gave me closure so that I can rest now, peacefully, because I was bitter and angry. The whole family is. … We all are burdened with this. That’s the only family member in my history that’s ever been murdered.”
Relatives said Malcom had recently graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College and was about to start a job with Southern California Edison when he was killed.