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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Man found dead in Central Park identified as David Henry Breaux

The death is being investigated as a homicide


By SONORA SLATER — city@theaggie.org


The man found dead on a bench in Central Park Thursday morning with multiple stab wounds has been identified as David Henry Breaux, commonly known as the “Compassion Guy,” according to the Davis Enterprise.

His body was discovered after police responded to a call for a welfare check in the area around 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, and the Davis Police Department is currently investigating the death as a homicide.

Police employees put up privacy screens around the body and crime-scene tape sectioning off the affected area upon arrival, but while they requested that people avoid the north side of the park temporarily, Lt. Dan Beckwith said that the park does not appear to be unsafe to visit.

When police arrived on the scene, they reported that the man had visible injuries, but did not immediately specify the nature of the injuries. According to the Davis Enterprise, the man was seated upright on a bench near the playground on the north side of the park when police arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of late Thursday afternoon, the Davis Police Department has stated that the case is being investigated as a homicide and the man’s injuries were found to include multiple stab wounds. This is the first homicide in Davis since late 2019. The man’s identity was released on Friday morning.

Breaux has stood on the corner of Third and C Streets in downtown Davis for many years, well-known for his self-proclaimed compassion mission of collecting interpretations of what people believe the definition of compassion is. He began the collection in 2009 and released a book called “Compassion Davis, CA: A Compilation of Concepts on Compassion” in early 2010 that contained many of the interpretations he had gathered from community members.

The California Aggie’s arts desk wrote an article about Breaux in 2011, when he hosted a speaking event to talk about his compassion project. Since then, he traveled around the country to talk to people in 12 other cities about their own definitions of compassion and spearheaded the volunteer-led creation of the “Compassion Bench” functional art structure in Davis in 2013. 

If anyone has information regarding the case or sees anything suspicious, they are encouraged to contact the Davis Police Department at 530-747-5400. 


This story is developing, check back for updates. Last updated: April 28, 10:30 a.m.

Written by: Sonora Slater — city@theaggie.org