Santa Ana

Surveillance Video, Photos Released in Gas Station Attack

Santa Ana police released surveillance video and photos Wednesday of a suspect in rage-fueled encounters directed at a customer and clerk at a gas station and a motorist.

Police, who suspect that there may be additional victims, hope that publicizing the photos and video will help lead to the man's arrest.

About 6:25 p.m. on March 28, the suspect was "picking on" another customer as he pumped gas at a Chevron station at 2100 E. McFadden Ave., according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. He then started peeling off red tape on safety bumpers on a gas pump, prompting a clerk to tell him, "OK, you're done here. You've got to move on,'' Bertagna said.

The man, however, followed the clerk back into the store and began arguing with the employee and throwing store merchandise at her, Bertagna said. The clerk chased him outside, but he returned and unsuccessfully tried to jump over the counter "to assault her," then left and came back a third time and "trashed the store," Bertagna said.

The suspect then fled in his car and got into a road rage incident with another woman about 15 minutes later at MacArthur Boulevard and Main Street, Bertagna said.

The victim was waiting for traffic to clear so she could turn from Main Street to westbound MacArthur as the suspect was "blasting his horn non-stop,'' Bertagna said.

The woman ignored him and turned, but then he raced ahead and cut her off, then boxed her car in before he got out of his vehicle and began throwing things at her, Bertagna said. In one of the photos the woman took with her cell phone, the man can be seen trying to pound his fist through her car door window, the corporal said.

The woman managed to maneuver her car around the suspect's vehicle and drive into a nearby fire department parking lot, where she called police, Bertagna said.

When a SAPD investigator received the photos of the suspect from the road-rage incident, she realized it looked like the same man involved in the gas station attack, Bertagna said.

The suspect is a Latino man about 45 to 55 years old and 5-foot-5, with a thin build and short gray, combed-back hair.

Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to call investigator Laura Delisle at (714) 245-8647. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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