Chinatown Man Beaten in Vicious, Seemingly Unprovoked Attack - NBC Bay Area

Chinatown Man Beaten in Vicious, Seemingly Unprovoked Attack



    Retiree Brutally Beaten Unconscious in Chinatown Attack

    A retiree is viciously beaten, and the attack is caught on video. Kim Tobin reports on NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2018. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018)

    A man was let into a Chinatown senior apartment building and allegedly beat a resident in what police officers are calling the most horrific attack they have witnessed.

    The victim was beaten so severely Nov. 27 that he was left in a medically-induced coma at County USC Medical Center.

    "It was a horrific attack," LAPD Capt. Marc Reina said.

    The Metro at Chinatown Senior Lofts surveillance video captured the attack that shows the suspect, seemingly unprovoked, begin wailing on 67-year-old Rene Holovsky as he clutches his dog's leash, the animal unable to run away as the attacker allegedly lifts a table and smashes it over Holovsky. The animal was unharmed.

    The suspect, identified by police as 32-year-old Sean Roger Halpin, is believed to have followed a resident into the building, gaining access to the fourth floor.

    The attacker is seen on video repeatedly kicking the man in the head, at times using the full force of his body to stomp on the defenseless victim.

    Video shows at times, the attacker retreats momentarily, but then returns. At one point the suspect is seen picking up a table and smashing the unconscious man.

    He then allegedly continued the beating using legs from the table, repeatedly bashing the man's head. 

    Police said the suspect then left the building, and was found by officers a block or two away.

    The initial police report alleges Halpin, a recent arrival from Northern California, was either mentally ill, drug addicted, or both.

    Police are unsure if he was homeless, but did not find a current residence linked to his name.

    Holovsky, a retired cabinet maker and artist, went through six hours of surgery, and has spent days in a medically induced coma. He remains in intensive care.

    Susan Staudt, the victim's partner, said they share the apartment along with their dog Wally.

    "He has multiple fractures in his skull, and his vertebrae in his neck," she said.

    She said he was able to finally talk Tuesday.

    "Just today, he said 'I love you,'" she said.

    Residents who live in The Metro at Chinatown Senior Lofts are on fixed incomes. Some said they have seen an increase of mentally ill and drug addicted people on the street, some of whom try to intimidate their way into the building.

    "They are jacked up and loaded, and what are you going to do?" Yolanda de la Torre said.

    Halpin was being held on $1,050,000 bail, with one felony count each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.