A man beaten with a baseball bat in an unprovoked attack while he was on his way home from a grocery store has died and his attacker faces attempted murder and hate crime charges, police said Thursday.
Armando Barron, 54, succumbed to his injuries and died at a hospital on Thursday. He leaves behind two daughters and four grandchildren. Detectives say he was targeted because he was not black.
"It was unfortunate that the color of his skin played a role in the assault," said Christian Guerrero, a family member. "He did not deserve to die this way."
He was beaten repeatedly in the head with a baseball bat on Sunday afternoon in Rialto in what detectives believe was an unprovoked encounter.
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Rialto police quickly identified Jeremiah Bell, 22, as the suspect in the beating. Bell was arrested Monday at his Fontana apartment. Bell was charged with premeditated attempted murder, with a hate crime enhancement.
"He woke up that morning and his intentions were to kill someone with the bat," said Detective David Padilla, of the Rialto Police Department.
Barron's daughter Wendy said her father was on his way home to watch his favorite team, Club America on TV. A brave passer-by stopped the attack and alerted authorities, she said.
"My father was a hard working man of the community," she said. "I am in shock that in this day and age the color of our skin matters. This was a senseless act that should have never happened."
The family has set up a gofundme account to pay for his medical bills.