Arcadia man beaten to death, died in hospice with his dog at his side

Published: December 26, 2019 4:00 PM EST
Updated: December 28, 2019 1:28 PM EST

Right now, the search is on for the person who beat and killed a man in early December as he slept on a park bench in Arcadia.

Everyone who knew the victim, Juan Diego Sebastian, told WINK News that he never hurt or bothered anyone. So when the people of Arcadia found out someone severely beat Sebastian on the bench he called home, they rushed to his side.

“He never regained consciousness,” Ramos said. “But still he, I kind of thought he was there because I would talk to him and he would squeeze my hand and his blood pressure would shoot up.”

A memorial for Juan is being held at the bench where he was killed in early December. (Credit: WINK News)
A memorial for Sebastian was being held at the bench where he was killed in early December. (Credit: WINK News)

For 10 years, Tammy Ramos treated Sebastian as a member of her family. For two weeks, she sat next to him in the hospital.

“I would give him food and money,” Ramos said. “And then on the holidays, we would cook for him.”

People got used to seeing Sebastian walk with his dog, Cheeto, along U.S. 17 daily. So Cheeto made sure to be with Sebastian in his final moments this week.

“They brought the dog up to hospice. And we laid him on the bed,” Ramos said. “And at this point, Juan was pretty bad. And we put Juan’s hand on Cheeto and then Cheeto laid his head on his hand and it was the weirdest thing because tears started coming out of Juan’s eyes.”

A few hours ago, a woman who does not want to be identified adopted Cheeto. She said it is important for Sebastian’s dog to remain part of their community. As for the search for the killer, Ramos has now shifted her focus from the death of her mild-mannered friend to catching whoever could do such a heinous act to him.

“If they’re not caught, it will happen again,” Ramos said. “Because the homeless community, the ones that I deal with, they’re mostly senior citizens and they’re vulnerable and it will happen again.”