GARDEN GROVE, CA – The arrest of a homeless man suspected in the death of an 89-year-old man in Garden Grove has sent shockwaves through the community. The incident has particularly affected the family of the elderly victim, who is fondly remembered for his kindness and family-oriented nature.
Chuong Pham, the 89-year-old victim, was a Vietnamese-speaking man known for his regular neighborhood walks. His daughter-in-law, Tam Doan, described him as a family-oriented individual. Tragically, Pham suffered from dementia, which made him vulnerable.
The suspect in this tragic incident has been identified as 26-year-old Mario Brancato. It is suspected that Brancato may have followed Pham, who frequently took walks in the neighborhood. The family had installed a Ring camera to monitor Pham’s safety, but it was not placed in his bedroom as per his wishes.
Camera footage revealed that the two men engaged in a conversation, but the fatal assault occurred in the room without surveillance. Pham was later discovered unresponsive by his son and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The elderly victim’s exact cause of death is still pending investigation, but it is believed that Pham was physically assaulted.
Authorities responded to a reported burglary in progress and found Brancato being restrained by several local residents. Pham’s son, upon returning home from work, discovered Brancato with his father on the floor. Although no weapons were found at the scene, signs indicate that Pham had been beaten.
The incident has left the community deeply saddened and concerned for their safety. Neighbors and residents are grappling with the shock of the incident. The suspect, Mario Brancato, was taken into custody by the police, who subsequently booked him on murder charges at the Orange County Jail. As of now, there is no known connection between Brancato and Pham.