Freedom Folks

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Cheap Labor?

Source: ocregister

Criticism of work may have led to laborer's murder

Landscaping supervisor beaten to death in gated Irvine community Monday

IRVINE – A landscaper upset over criticism he wasn't pulling his weight on the job may have used a shovel to beat his boss to death in a quiet gated community here Monday.

Ernesto Avalos, 26, of Santa Ana was arrested after police found him bloodied in the back yard of a new home on Woods Trail in the Turtle Ridge neighborhood about noon. He had a pickax and a shovel. The body of Woo Sung Park, 44, of Rancho Santa Margarita lay nearby, his head smashed repeatedly by landscaping tools, Lt. Rick Handfield said.

Park, who was coordinating landscaping work on the home, picked up Avalos and another man in Santa Ana Monday morning. Avalos had worked for Park a few times before, Handfield said, but he wasn't a regular hire.

Avalos was among a dozen other workers working for Park on Monday when Park told Avalos he was unhappy about the amount of work he was doing.

Workers going back and forth to the back yard said they caught a glimpse of Avalos picking up a shovel and hitting Park over the head, Handfield said. Other workers told detectives they saw Avalos also use a pickax.

"Some saw the beginning, some saw the middle and others saw the end," Handfield said. "I can imagine it was a very frightening situation. It wasn't a fight. It was a murder."

Officers went to the house after a neighbor called police to report someone was down. Avalos confronted officers with a pickax and shovel. When he refused to listen to their orders to get on the ground, police used a taser and a 40mm non-lethal sponge round to subdue him, Handfield said.

An autopsy on Park is scheduled today.

"(Park's) workers all said he was a really nice guy," Handfield said. "They said he treated them really well, bought them lunch. He took care of them."

Just good folks, no -- no, um, hard working, damn, no. Good hearted...nah.

That "cheap labor" just got mighty expensive, didn't it?


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