A 55-year-old man who died in Golden Gate Park last week had been robbed and beaten, according to police, who said Wednesday that a suspect is in custody.
Robert Musial of San Francisco was found by Park Police Station officers on a bench behind the Sharon Art Studio at 7:22 p.m. Friday.
Police said his breathing was labored and he appeared to be experiencing a medical emergency. He died at the scene.
A preliminary autopsy showed that Musial sustained blunt-force injuries, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said Wednesday.
Musial was struck in the back of the head with a skateboard and had his wallet stolen, his brother Stewart Musial told The San Francisco Examiner.
Stunned by the killing, Stewart Musial and friends went into the park to search for suspects.
“There were a bunch of us,” he said. “It was a full two days in the park, hanging out with homeless people.”
That search party helped identify 23-year-old Marcus Herrera of Santa Ana as a suspect. Herrera was arrested Sunday on a Muni bus, both police and Stewart Musial said.
Herrera was booked into County Jail on suspicion of murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, Andraychak said.
“Investigators believe there were other people at the scene, and we’re asking anyone with information to come forward,” Andraychak said.
Robert Musial, who grew up near Ocean Beach, was described by family as compassionate and well-loved, and an expert on everything San Francisco.
“I think he should have had his own talk show,” said cousin Alexander Cardenas. “He made everyone laugh.”
Stewart Musial said he has warned others about the homeless in Golden Gate Park. Areas near the children’s playground were “always a dangerous place,” he said.
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world in there,” the grieving brother said.