City News Service

Man Pleads Guilty to Dumping Scalding Water on Woman Who Rejected Him

The woman sustained burns on her chest, arms and buttocks that required a trip to a hospital, police said.

A 29-year-old Riverside man pleaded guilty Wednesday to hurling a large cup of scalding water at a woman who rebuffed his advances in Santa Ana.

Dennis Joseph Chavez pleaded guilty to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and admitted a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury on the victim. A felony charge of torture was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

He was sentenced to 304 days in jail, but was given credit for time served and will not have to spend any more time behind bars. He was also placed on five years of formal probation.

Chavez approached the unidentified woman, who was with her sister, about 3:45 a.m. on Feb. 2 at 914 N. Harbor Blvd.

"He pulls up, asks her for her number and she feels uncomfortable with the guy so she says no and tells him to get lost," Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said then. "He drives away and comes back 10 minutes later with what appears to be a Big Gulp-sized cup of scalding hot water and tosses it all over her."

The woman sustained burns on her chest, arms and buttocks that required a trip to a hospital, Bertagna said.

He said the victim and her sister chased after the suspect as he got back in his car and got his license plate number, leading to Chavez's arrest later that day at his residence in Riverside.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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