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Crime & Justice

Police seek man who threw near-fatal punch on Santa Monica Big Blue Bus earlier this month (video)

A man remains in critical condition after a fight on a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus earlier this month, and LAPD detectives are asking the public’s help in finding the man who threw the last punch.

Video surveillance captured the April 5 fight, which police say began after the victim, Luis Contreras, stepped on the foot of his assailant. The two exchanged words, then began shoving. Contreras was knocked backwards out the bus’ side door and hit his head on the curb.

In video footage released yesterday by Los Angeles police, the assailant is seen stepping over Contreras’ sprawled body. He then peers down at him for a moment and walks away.

“As a result of the fight, victim Luis Contreras suffered a serious head injury and is now fighting for his life at a local hospital,” police said in yesterday’s statement.

The fight occurred at 7:05 p.m. that evening, and the bus was traveling near Westwood Boulevard and Rochester Avenue in West Los Angeles.

Police are asking the public to examine the above video, and anyone with information is urged to call West Bureau Homicide Detective Luis Carranza at (213) 382-9470. Anonymous tips may be made at (877) LAPD 247. Text or online tips can be made as well -- visit for more information.

“Anyone with information can contact us,” Carranza said. “We just want to know why this unfortunate incident occurred. We want to speak with him to get his side of the story.”