A third suspect in the torture and killing of an older man in Golden Gate Park in May has been arrested, according to police.
Michael Grasso, 27, was arrested in Arizona and was booked Tuesday on suspicion of murder and inflicting injury on an elder or adult likely to cause great bodily injury in connection with the horrifying crime that shocked The City. It wasn’t immediately clear how Grasso was allegedly linked to the killing.
A gardner found the victim, 66-year-old Steven Williams, floating face down in Alvord Lake near Stanyan and Haight streets on May 24. He had allegedly been beaten for days by the suspects before he was killed.
The two suspects initially arrested and charged for the crime — among a group of alleged assailants — are known as “Pizza Steve” and “Evil,” and were booked into County Jail on May 24.
Stephen Billingsley, 20, who goes by “Pizza Steve,” has since pleaded not guilty to murder, two counts of torture, conspiracy, assault and elderly abuse.
Nikki Lee Williams, 37, also called “Evil,” pleaded not guilty to assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, elder abuse, false imprisonment and conspiracy.
While the motivation for the crime remains unknown, it’s speculated the pair conspired against the victim because he may have been exposing himself inside the park.
According to court records, the days of beating and abuse began May 22 when Nikki Williams, as well as others, allegedly pulled Steven Williams into Alvord Lake.
Nikki Williams then reportedly hit the victim and dunked him in the water repeatedly.
The next day, Billingsley and others allegedly attacked the victim near Haight and Clayton streets. The beating, which included stomping and striking, left Steven Williams unconscious. Billingsley, Nikki Williams and others continued to beat the victim near the lake where his body was discovered, authorities said.
It was some time after these two beatings when Billingsley is alleged to have dragged Steve Williams into the lake.
The crime marked the second slaying in Golden Gate Park allegedly by drifters within a year.