A veteran’s prosthetic leg and pick-up truck were stolen from Knott’s Berry Farm, and police on Thursday asked for the public’s help in finding the Marine’s modes of transportation.
Juan Hernandez lost his leg in a brutal gang attack on Thanksgiving Day 2010, a crime for which the perpetrator is still wanted, police said.
The Orange County resident was visiting Knott’s Berry Farm May 26 as part of a day meant to honor military veterans. He decided to use a wheelchair at the park and leave his custom Orthotronic C-Leg in his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Hernandez returned to find both his truck and prosthetic leg gone, police said.
The violent attack that left Hernandez with one leg was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” in 2012. It inspired SCOPe Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. to donate a custom-designed prosthetic leg to the veteran.
Though police have not named a suspect for the thefts, they are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of 24-year-old Jose Luis Berruette, wanted in the 2010 attempted murder of Hernandez.
Berruette, pictured at right, allegedly rammed a Ford Bronco into Hernandez when the military veteran tried to confront graffiti vandals outside his home on Thanksgiving. The driver trapped Hernandez between a cinder block wall and fence and repeatedly drove the car over his lower body, Bertagna said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or text TIP “OCCS” and the information to 274637 (CRIMES).