A homeless man is behind bars for the alleged beating death of another transient man in Hesperia, officials said.


Initial reports show William Lewis, 42, died as a result of blunt force trauma, said Cindy Beavers, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, but she added an autopsy must be conducted to confirm those suspicions.


"The incident is still being investigated," she said. "We don't have a motive and the autopsy will reveal what type of trauma (Lewis) suffered and that may indicate if a weapon was used."


A witness reported seeing Ernesto Romero, 50, a homeless man who frequented the Hesperia area, yelling in the alley behind a group of businesses along Hesperia Road south of Bear Valley Road late Thursday morning, officials said.


The witness noticed Lewis lying on the ground face down and saw Romero's face was injured and had blood on his hands and face, according to reports.


Romero asked the woman to call for help, but as she was on the phone with Sheriff's Dispatch, Romero ran away.


Authorities arrived and declared Lewis dead at the scene.


Homicide detectives were able to find and arrest Romero for murder, and he was booked into Victorville Jail.


Although authorities don't have a motive in Lewis' death, Beavers noted the evidence is consistent with a physical confrontation between the two men before the murder took place. Officials have not stated if there had been any problems between the men before that.


Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Sgt. Don Lupear or Detective Robert Warrick at (909) 387-3589 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.