Shirtless 300-pound man brutally beats up young mother at LA County gas station
Authorities believe the attack — which left a 25-year-old single mother hospitalized with severe injuries — was random and without provocation
GARDENA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY — A man who allegedly launched a brutal, unprovoked attack on a woman at a gas station in Gardena, California, was reportedly arrested in Long Beach on Friday, June 4.
The 300-to-350-pound shirtless man, yet to be named by authorities, was seen in a video attacking the woman at the gas station. Authorities believe the attack — which left a 25-year-old single mother hospitalized with severe injuries — was random and without provocation.
The suspect was taken into custody around 7.30 pm after a family member turned him in, expressing concern he would hurt someone else or himself. Police revealed that the suspect, who is reportedly in his late 40s, was on parole for assault at the time of the incident, KTLA 5 reported.
The assault reportedly took place on Sunday, May 30, around 7 pm at a gas station in the 500 block of Rosecrans Avenue in Gardena.
The woman is seen on surveillance footage pumping gas in her car as the suspect emerges from his black Ford Expedition and calmly walks up to her. Without provocation, he started pummelling her repeatedly in the head and torso, even after she collapses to the ground. The suspect is also seen grabbing her hair and slamming her head against the car and the ground several times. After forty seconds of relentless assault, he stops and stands over her motionless body, according to KTLA 5.
Three men are seen walking up to the suspect and intervening. One of them walks the suspect back to his vehicle before the video ends. The suspect is believed to have left the scene, considering investigators looked for him. Authorities later learned of a second attack apparently by the same suspect the night before.
Nearby the same intersection, a 63-year-old woman was attacked while she was sitting in her car at a traffic light. The suspect reportedly walked up to her and punched her too. Police are encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward if there were other such unreported assaults by the man.
While speaking to Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies, the victim in the gas station attack said she did not recognize the man from before and that he didn't rob her of any personal property.
Authorities described the victim as a 25-year-old single mother who was heading home from work and decided to stop for gas on the way. They said she didn't even notice the suspect until he launched a barrage of blows on her.
"He walked around, she didn't see him," LASD Detective Keegan McInnis told Eyewitness News. "By the time she looked up, he had thrown the first punch. You see in the video the attack is pretty vicious. Then he calmly walks away as if nothing had happened."
The victim sustained severe injuries to her face and head from the assault and required immediate medical attention. She was rushed to a hospital, from where she has since been discharged and is currently recuperating at home.
"This is a 25-year-old single mother who just got off work and was on her way home," McInnis noted. "This could be your daughter, this could be your sister, your mom. She was just innocently pumping gas... She's afraid to even take her daughter to school right now because of this attack," he said before the suspect was arrested.
The suspect was described as a Black man, aged between 35 to 45, weighing at least 300-350 pounds, standing about 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches. He was reportedly driving an older model Ford Expedition with matte black paint and black rims at the time of the attack.
McInnis said police wanted to catch him before he hurt someone else. "We've seen what kind of terrible things he's capable of," he added.
If you or anyone you know has more information related to the case, you are urged to call Detective McInnis at (323)568-4800. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.