Los Angeles

Suspect in Custody in Beating of Man at Buena Park Bus Stop

The 8:15 a.m. Wednesday Buena Park attack at a bus stop at Beach Boulevard and Orangethorpe Avenue left the victim unconscious.

A probationer who pleaded not guilty Friday to charges stemming from a robbery and beating in Fullerton also is expected to face more charges from a stomping attack the same day on a 65-year-old man at a Buena Park bus stop.

Kenneth Heimlich, 33, pleaded not guilty in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana on one felony count each of second-degree robbery and battery with serious bodily injury and two counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, along with a misdemeanor count of battery on a peace officer, in connection with the Fullerton attack that occurred sometime Wednesday morning.

The 8:15 a.m. Wednesday Buena Park attack at a bus stop at Beach Boulevard and Orangethorpe Avenue -- captured on a bus-mounted dashcam -- left the victim unconscious, according to Buena Park police Sgt. Mike Lovchik, who said the man remained hospitalized and had not regained consciousness as of early this afternoon.

"Witnesses tell us that the suspect and victim were involved in some sort of a verbal altercation prior to the physical assault," Lovchik said. "The suspect pushed the victim to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stomped him in the head, knocking him unconscious."

Heimlich allegedly stole the victim's bike, but it was not clear what motivated the attack, Lovchik said.

"We don't know if the original intent was to steal the bike," the sergeant said.

Heimlich allegedly left the scene and ended up at the Fullerton Transportation Center, where he is accused of committing a similar type of assault about 10 a.m., Lovchik said.

A man and a boy, who tried to intercede, were injured in the conflict with Heimlich, a law enforcement source said. The man had since been released from a hospital. Heimlich was arrested at the scene, but Fullerton investigators were unaware of the Buena Park attack until Thursday night and determined the same suspect was involved, Lovchik said.

Heimlich is expected to face additional charges in connection with the Buena Park incident, he said. Video of the Buena Park beating was captured by the dashcam of an Orange County Transportation Authority bus.

Buena Park police released the graphic surveillance video in hopes of generating tips. Heimlich was on probation following a guilty plea for misdemeanor disturbing the peace for fighting on May 4, 2017, according to court records.

As part of that plea deal, misdemeanor counts of assault and battery were dropped. He has a lengthy criminal history dating back several years, according to court records. In many cases he had felony charges reduced to misdemeanors. Heimlich pleaded guilty Jan. 2, 2018, to misdemeanor vandalism for damaging an Orange County Jail cell door on April 21, 2017. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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