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Two Homeless Men Jailed After Beating Man Unconscious Downtown

Livermore victim, first felled with sucker punch, taken to hospital.

Two homeless men are due in court today for allegedly beating a 21-year-old local man into unconsciousness on the downtown streets of Livermore over the weekend.

Mark Waller, 41, and Steven Ruth, 21, both listed as Livermore transients, are in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, after their arrests early Saturday morning on felony battery charges.

The victim was found on the ground unconscious at 2:20 a.m. when officers arrived at the brawl scene at South J and First streets, said Sgt. Brian Martinez of the Livermore Police Department.

The victim, a Livermore resident, was taken by ambulance to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, suffering injuries to his head, eye and ear, Martinez said.

Witnesses told police that Ruth and the victim were in a verbal spat, when Waller stepped in with a punch from behind.

"While arguing, Waller walked up behind the victim and ended up punching him in the side of the head," Martinez said.

After the victim fell to the ground, "both men physically continued to batter him until he was unconscious," he said.

The victim, later interviewed at the hospital by police, said he was unable to recall what happened, Martinez said.

Waller and Ruth fled the fight scene before officers arrived but were nabbed nearby within minutes by police.  

Martinez said he did not know the cause of the fight or whether the victim and suspects were acquainted.

The suspects' bail is $20,000 each, according to Alameda County Sheriff's Office records.

Both are scheduled to appear today at 2 p.m. in Dept. 701 at the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.

Kathy June 08, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Interesting. I wonder if it's the same people involved in the SAME EXACT thing I witnessed a month or so ago, 10 at night, same intersection - also a weekday night - 2 men jumped another from behind. I pulled over and called police and laid on my car horn at them all on the ground fighting (Sorry, being by myself, was not about to get out of my car).
Sandra June 08, 2011 at 10:09 PM
So much for our homeless population being harmless nuisances.
Anni R June 09, 2011 at 03:46 AM
Exactly, because we should indict an entire group of people based on the actions of two.
Sandra June 09, 2011 at 04:49 AM
Well, unless these two are willing to wear warning signs......
Mike Adams June 09, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Well said, Sandra! I don't spend a lot of time downtown at 2am but I seem to recall that we have a pretty strong police presence. Hopefully that contributed to nabbing these two violent criminals quickly.
Marge C June 09, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Kudos to the Livermore Police and to Kathy for their efforts in trying to keep our town safe!
Jennifer N. June 09, 2011 at 08:56 PM
I agree with Sandra. Could the altercation have started because they were asking for money and pestering the victim and he made a comment that upset them? And thank you to Kathy for doing something about what she saw, who knows how many of us just would have driven by.
Get_A_Clue June 09, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Things are only going to get worse as long as we have a council that continues to welcome more and more transients to this town. Think I'm kidding? You should have attended the homeless meeting that the city hosted. It wasn't about fixing the problem, it seemed to be more about coddling these drug addicted alcoholics and making Livermore more attractive to them.
Marie June 10, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I moved to Livermore in January and I have to say, I love this place. However, since stumbling across the "Patch" online, I was unaware of all the gang/homeless activity. I have a teenage boy and then I find that 2 streets over we have had a gang stabbing, drug related explosion and subsequent deaths, just to name a few. Parents!! Keep your kids in the house, when they are out, make sure they are playing sports, music, art....whatever, as long as it's not just "Hangin Out" they can do that at school, the mall, or in the backyard. "Annie R" you sound like an enabler to grown men and women that refuse to work and pay taxes, and expect to be provided for on our dime, typical socialist/lib....every one's a victim. I'm a victim too. But I'm raising my child with no help from ANYONE and I pay my dues....I allow myself 5 minutes every night before I go to bed to "feel sorry for myself".......after that I thank GOD for what I have and how I got it, I pray, kiss my child goodnight and do it all over again the next day. The only homeless alcoholics I care to help are the many American War Veterans that our government has abandonded in their hour of need!!
Mike Adams June 10, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Ah, there's that "Stop Following" button...
Roger V. Tranfaglia June 11, 2011 at 01:49 AM
To Marie and "get a clue" Points well taken! I'm not an addict(though I've been accused of worse)Got a P/T job.Looking for another(or F/T) live up in the mountains (cheap rent). So excuse me if I sleep 'in town 'once or twice a week. Roger V. Tranfaglia
Becky June 12, 2011 at 01:00 AM
I would guess that most homeless people are "home" for the night at 2:00 in the morning, and not out hanging around bars. I would also guess all three men had been drinking. We can expect much more of this when BART is downtown.
Sandra June 12, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Why do you think BART will have that effect? Are people going to get on BART just to come and hang out on Livermore street corners? I don't understand.
Pam Irish June 12, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Sandra....yep, that is exactly what will happen. And when they don't have to worry about driving home they can drink as much as they want. We used to live around the corner from the Bayfair BART station, and this was 20 years ago when it wasn't the pit it is now; trust me when I say that that is exactly what happened. The running joke was people would take BART in and then steal a car to go home. They would come in on BART, hang out in the parking lot or on the surrounding streets pan-handling for money saying "I just need a couple of dollars to get back home", the same woman hit me up 3 weeks straight. That's one reason we moved out here; personally, I'm happy with the line ending in Pleasanton, that's close enough.
Wilson June 12, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Pleasanton has BART and doesn't have that problem. That's because the Pleasanton police are not afraid to roll some homeless out of their town. Livermore police are only focused on one thing. The DUI. I have worked and lived in Downtown Livermore for years. I don't mean around downtown I mean right right on first st. I see this durning the day night all the time. Th homeless are out at 2 am. They are drunks and drug addicts. I know most of them by name. I have to kick them out of my work daily. They are a big problem and one day someone will be killed or worse before Livermore stops ignoring them. Bums
Patti June 12, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Yes, we do have a city council that "coddles" the homeless. We need to get tougher on these people. I realize there are those that are homeless that are not "drunks" or "addicts". They are the ones that use the shelters that are in place for them. My family and I have had one on one contact with a group of them who at the time were encamped in the creek that runs along North Livermore Ave. by Lowes and Walmart. They were in Denny's diner, drunk, actually drinking the large cans of beer they brought in with them, they were loud and harassing the people that were in the restaurant. The management did the right thing by not asking them to leave. It would have caused a problem. They left after some very strong "looks" by the patrons that were there, and when one gentleman told them to "watch their language". Just Friday at Peet's coffee, I was followed by one asking for a dollar. Finally I had to raise my voice and tell him NO and to leave me alone. I don't know what impact Bart will have ~ we will have to see, but I do think a get tough policy is in order. Yes, roll them out of town. Maybe Pleasanton has it right. I think Livermore has done very nice things to make our downtown very appealing and this is not what is needed. The shelters are there!! They just can't bring their pets, drugs, and 40 oz beverages with them. Oh, and they are required to take a shower!
Sandra June 12, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Actually Pleasanton does have homeless people.
Stac June 13, 2011 at 08:52 PM
I realize not all homeless people are scum, many really are down on their luck & trying. But I wonder if these are the two I've seen wandering Target and Walmart from time to time...description fits. And they just always look like they're up to no good and possibly stealing. There are some people that just give off a bad vibe and these two do. They did have a dog with them at one point...hope the pup is okay. As for them, I hope they rot in jail = and if they get out, hope they end up somewhere else.
Kathy June 13, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Many did drive by, around me, as I was stopped with my headlights bright on them, blaring my horn. I'm hoping the noise I was making was what caused numerous people to come down from the Alehouse that night, also all on phones (I assume also calling police).
ashton June 14, 2011 at 04:50 AM
the young boy is my brother. he was raised in a church home, he played sports, and had alot of support from all of us. he has made many bad choices in life. its sad how he chooses to life his life, he had everything growing up
Sharon July 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Geez, Marie, I didn't jump to your conclusion reading Annie R's statement. The "homeless population" is such for a variety of reasons due to the economy and lack of programs to assist them. Through no fault of their own are many families in this position. You are quick to judge and some could be quick to call you callous...
Samson October 27, 2011 at 06:05 AM
Samson He should not be out at 2ooam there is absolutely nothing good happening at that time downtown. Its sad when we as people have to pay the price for his bad choices. If he has support and love then he has no excuse to have not got help. He needs to wake up and grow up, and stop hurting people that care because of his selfishness. Sometimes a silver spoon is not good when the parents can't say NO and inable a bad situation.
laci bucol July 27, 2012 at 07:40 AM
leave homeless people alone live your own lives the two guys that you people are talkin about are my friends and they arent those bad of guys that u say they are you people dont know the hole story so dont judge people
David H September 28, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Laci, I went to school with Steven and have known him for over 6 years. Sure, when he can get something from you he's fine. The rest of the time he is drunk off his ass and hanging out with 13 year old girls. I do not condone anything that he does and thats why we dont talk to each other. When someone turns violent and becomes a problem down town then it is our business as a community. He may be your friend but maybe that's not a good thing. Steven is homeless because of the hundreds of terrible decisions that he has made with no regard for anyone but himself. I'm glad he's locked up, we don't need him downtown.
libertus_rebelium September 28, 2012 at 02:50 PM
yes, we should, visible homeless hanging out downtown are a scummy blight. I saw Santa Cruz turn into a town run by aggressive hobos because the population kept feeding them and making excuses for them and now it is too late to get rid of them. We don't want Livermore to become a sanctuary for this sort of scum. Don't give money to pan handlers.
libertus_rebelium September 28, 2012 at 02:55 PM
EXACTLY what happened in Santa Cruz. They built them a brand new shelter while working people were losing their homes. It is infuriating to have to pay a premium to live in the Bay Area and see that money go to these dirbags who selfishly ruin it for us. So lets see all the apologists march out and tell us it is because they are sick or crazy or maybe confused veterans. You think so, let them camp in your yard, then. We'll see how much of an advocate you are after a week.
libertus_rebelium September 28, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Sharon, this argument is BS! If you were suddenly down on your luck, wouldn't you have friends or family or others that care about you because you spent a lifetime being a good person and helping others? Wouldn't these people help you out in your time of need that is "no fault" of your own? If not, why? What is it about you that nobody you know will help you? Well, ask that about these people too. In rare cases, they are victims with some rare life cycle that has left them without one friend or family member willing to help them. In most cases, they are people that made awful life choices and likely burned all those bridges so now they need churches and the state to help them out. Well, those institutions can, I won't and I won't encourage others to either. I've seen what it does to too many other cities in the Bay Area at the cost of tax money and community safety. They want to live somewhere for free, they can do it where the rest of us aren't busting our humps just to make ends meet. Send them all to North Dakota or Kentucky, watch how fast they want to work to get out of there.
libertus_rebelium September 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Please leave town. You and your "friends" are as wanted in town as your opinion on this board.
kristin November 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Thats funny David H. Didnt you Run around high school " being cool" and bully him like maybe think about this ....... You still are! Who are you to lie and make yourself seem like you have any morale. This community needs this shelter b/c our economy and our society has been HIt by a national deficeit and our community lost thier values. Everybody is quick to judge and nobody gets the benefit of the doubt anymore. Guess what you HESH... people like YOU will never be happy in life you are a LiAR who pionts the finger & Steven stood up for himself after people like you are out of pocket while in his face getting jumped by YOUR friends. David your weak, Steven has a heart of gold. Sometimes people go through rough times in thier life. Grow up and start thinking about that.!!! I respect anyone who own's up to thier mistake & learn from it. Dont slander a good name, thats why Jesus died on the cross.

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