Bus Beating Did Not Kill Elderly Passenger, Coroner Says

A man who died several days after being beaten on a Metro bus died of natural causes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    An 89-year-old man who was beaten on a Metro bus and later died was not killed by his injuries, according to the coroner's findings.

    David Martinez was assaulted Oct. 21 aboard a bus in Los Angeles near Culver City. His alleged assailant, 35-year-old Luke Schoedel, was charged in the attack.

    Martinez was treated after the beating at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center but left the hospital. He then checked himself back in Nov. 6 and died Nov. 10, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    On Thursday, Los Angeles county Department of Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter said Martinez's cause of death was natural. Martinez suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage that was the primary cause of his death, but he also suffered from from hypertensive and atherosclerotic conditions, or "heart problems" and "bad arteries," Winter said.

    The news comes as there has been heightened attention to crime aboard public transit buses after a high-profile crime last week in which a woman with diminished mental capactiy was raped for 10 minutes aboard a bus in Culver City. A suspect in the rape, Kerry Trotter, pleaded not guilty to charges on Wednesday.

    Schoedel was arrested at the scene of the attack on Martinez and charged with elder abuse and battery with injury on transit personnel. He pleaded not guilty on Oct. 23, according to the District Attorney's Office.

    He could have faced a murder charge if the death was related to the beating, authorities had said. Schoedel is due back in court Dec. 11.

    City News Service contributed to this article.

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