Authorities identify man killed near Newport Pier on Saturday

Newport Pier with a seagul perched on a tower viewer.
A man was found unconscious near Newport Pier early Saturday morning. Police declared the man deceased at the scene.
(Hillary Davis)

The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of what authorities are investigating as a homicide near Newport Pier as Ruben Gonzalez, 59, a transient.

Newport Beach police responded to reports of an unconscious man near the pier at around 12:03 a.m. on Saturday. Responding officers attempted to revive the man, but eventually pronounced Gonzalez dead at the scene. Preliminary investigation suggests that Gonzalez was involved in an altercation with another adult male, who was subsequently located and arrested in the area.

Sgt. Todd Hylton confirmed Monday an autopsy to establish the exact cause of death is scheduled for this week, and there are no additional details about Gonzales’ death at this time.

Newport Beach spokeswoman Heather Rangel said the investigation is ongoing but confirmed the suspect arrested in connection with the case Saturday, 22-year-old Tustin resident Ezekial Izaiah Person, remains in custody.

Rangel said Person was transported to the county jail and jail records indicate he is being held without bail.

Police are seeking any witnesses to the incident and the activities leading to the altercation. Members of the public with information should reach out to Det. Kyle Markwald at (949) 644-3762 or or call the department’s anonymous tip line at (800) 550-6273.

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