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Slaying Suspect Undone by Free Holiday Meal

Crime: The accused killer of a good Samaritan is arrested at a mission on Thanksgiving.


On Thanksgiving Day, Bryant Swinton lined up for a free meal at the downtown Midnight Mission. But before Swinton could fill his plate, police officers pulled him out of line, handcuffed him and arrested him.

Swinton, 37, is suspected of stabbing to death a good Samaritan in early November who tried to stop him from beating his wife.

"It doesn't surprise me that he would go and try to take advantage of the free meal," said Rampart Homicide Det. John Motto, who added that Swinton has been homeless for the last two years.

"But this is someone who had no regard for the lives" of the people who came to aid Swinton's wife, Motto said.

On Nov. 4, Geraldo Moncada was driving on Olympic Boulevard near Burlington Avenue with his brother-in-law, Jaime Andradi, when they saw a man punching a woman. Moncada parked his car at a nearby 7-Eleven and rushed to defend the woman, whose metal walker was next to her, Motto said.

Swinton picked up the walker and hit Moncada, who fell to the floor. Andradi ran to help him and they both attacked Swinton with their belts. Swinton then pulled out a knife, stabbed Moncada in the heart and ran away, police said.

Andradi, who had not seen Swinton stab Moncada, chased him.

When he saw the knife, he returned to Moncada and called paramedics. Moncada, 31, was taken to USC Medical Center, where he died. Swinton's wife, Cynthia Bryant, 45, also was arrested Thursday as she waited with him for Thanksgiving dinner. She had a felony warrant for narcotics possession, police said.

Motto said Swinton's arrest was a way to vindicate Moncada's death. "I don't think he [Moncada] died in vain," Motto said. "The guy tried to intervene and save someone's life, and paid with his own."

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