In a violent parking lot attack caught on surveillance tape, officials from the El Cajon Police Department are searching for an unknown man accused of punching a 76-year-old Army veteran over some sort of apparent road rage incident.
The assault happened on April 30 at around 10:10 a.m. in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy located at 572 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon. Officials released details – along with this short surveillance clip – for the first time Wednesday in hopes of tracking down the accused assailant.
As seen on the tape, the suspect walks across the parking lot, approaches the victim’s parked car, opens the driver's side door and throws a punch.
“I said, ‘get out of my face. Get out of the way.’ At that point, I got him. He just, hey, knocked me back into the car,” the victim Ron Tornocello told NBC 7.
When officers arrived at the scene of the parking lot fight, they found Tornocello suffering from major injuries to the face. His injuries were so severe, he had to have two facial reconstructive surgeries after the incident.
Tornocello said he has a hard time sleeping and can't drive and do other normal activies since the attack.
More than six week later, the suspect remains at large. Police said the fight stemmed from some sort of road rage incident.
Tornocello told NBC 7 he was on his cell phone and didn't think he cut off the suspect or did anything that may have provoked the attack.
A good Samaritan stepped in to stop the suspect. If that person hadn't intervened, the victim said he think his injuries might have been much worse.
The suspect was last seen leaving the parking lot in a newer, red, SUV-style vehicle. Police said he is described as white man, at least 6-feet tall, with a muscular build. He was wearing dark shorts, a white T-shirt and a light-colored baseball hat with the letters “UFC” on the front.
Officials said the suspect actually pretended to be a witness when police arrived, then slipped away.
In addition to a reward offered by San Diego Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest in this case, police said the victim has increased the reward to $2,500 so that someone will come forward and help identify the suspect.
The case is still under investigation and anyone with information should contact the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3320 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous.