Police Wednesday released dramatic video surveillance footage of a robbery and assault at a Santa Ana massage parlor in hopes it will generate tips leading investigators to the suspect who inflicted substantial facial and head injuries on a woman working at the business.
The armed robber held up the So Relax Day Spa in the 3700 block of West McFadden Avenue just before 11 p.m. Monday, police said.
After demanding money at gunpoint, the robber struck the woman several times in the head with the weapon while tugging her hair, police said, and also choked her as she tried to get away.
U.S. & World
"He wanted to kill me," the woman, Ling Wong, told NBC4. "I couldn't breathe, I couldn't breathe."
The beating lasted less than two minutes, but it was violent. The bruises cover her face, her hands and her arms.
She said the assailant had been in the business twice on Monday, both times paying for massages. But he later entered through a back door and confronted Wong, initially telling her he lost his phone. He then pulled out the gun and attacked her, demanding money.
The surveillance footage shows the pair wrestling in a hallway, with Wong screaming. She said she remembers praying and thinking "I don't want to die in here," and saying to herself, "I have to survive, I have to survive."
The man eventually made off with cash from the business, making his getaway in a newer-model red Toyota Camry or similar four-door sedan, police said.
The robber was described as a Latino man about 22 to 28 years old, 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds, with short, black hair, a medium complexion and a tattoo on his right forearm, police said.
The man took about $200 from the business.
NBC4's Vikki Vargas contributed to this report.