Michael Keith Dawson, 39, a local transient from Ventura, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in great bodily injury stemming from an incident that occurred on Feb. 13.

On that day at 6:05 a.m., police responded to Plaza Del Mar Park at 23 Castillo St. to investigate a felony battery.  While checking the area near the tennis courts at adjacent Pershing Park, Santa Barbara City College security personnel discovered a 49-year-old homeless man lying on the grass in Plaza Del Mar Park.  The man had been severely beaten and was in need of medical attention.  Investigation indicated that he had been beaten and sustained serious bodily injuries.  The victim was taken to Cottage Hospital. The victim is still hospitalized with very serious injuries.  He is expected to survive.

On Feb. 27, investigators received a major break in the case while investigating an unrelated battery involving homeless people on 200 W. Montecito St. Police learned that a man named Mike had bragged that he had beaten a man to death in a park. 

Investigators pursued the lead, which ultimately lead to Dawson as a suspect in the Feb. 13 case.  At 9:15 p.m. police located Dawson in front of 7-Eleven at 331 W. Montecito Street and detained him.  Detectives determined that Dawson was responsible for the Feb. 13 beating, and arrested him for assault with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in great bodily injury. 

This investigation is still ongoing and additional details about the incident are being withheld.

Dawson was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail. His bail is set at $50,000.