California

Man suspected in killing of longtime Department of Water and Power worker is arrested

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Officers recognized Gerson Carrillo Torres, 22, from surveillance video in the area.
(LAPD)

A man suspected in the killing of a longtime worker with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been arrested, police said Friday.

Officers recognized Gerson Carrillo Torres, 22, from surveillance video near 3rd and Wall streets that showed a potential suspect in the July 2 slaying of 70-year-old Julius Rondez. Torres was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of murder, according to an LAPD news release.

Police said Torres knocked Rondez to the ground, unprovoked, in the 400 block of East Temple Street near the DWP office.

Rondez fell and struck his head on the pavement and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He died the following day, according to coroner’s records.

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Julius Rondez worked for DWP for more than 33 years. On July 9, this photo was distributed to staff with a notice announcing his death.
(Los Angeles Department of Water and Power)

The day of the attack, Rondez was supposed to go on vacation, his daughter Janice Rondez said in an interview with KTLA-TV Channel 5.

“He was a really great man,” she said, adding that her father was a hard worker who refused to retire. “He was like, ‘No, I can still work. I’m still strong.’ He was everything to us.”

DWP general manager David Wright said in a note to staff that Rondez had worked for the department for more than 33 years, most recently as a senior commercial representative in meter services and field operations.

He was a devoted Dodgers and Lakers fan, a mentor to new employees and a friendly presence in the DWP office, Wright said.

“Julius was known for his happiness, sense of humor and one-of-a-kind personality,” Wright said. “He was kind, peaceful and a family man who took great pride in his loved ones.”

Torres is being held in lieu of $2 million bail, police said.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra