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Suspect arrested in assault of grocery clerk

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect on March 13 in the assault of a Bonita Foods grocery clerk last month.

According to Detective Dan Laibach, Juan Aparicio confronted a female clerk two days after she had declined to sell him alcohol due to the fact that he was intoxicated. Aparicio encountered the woman on her way to work February 24, hit her on the side of the head and knocked her unconscious. He then kicked her while she was on the ground.

When the clerk regained consciousness, Aparicio threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had happened. Then, he fled the scene. Law enforcement was called and the woman was taken to Fallbrook Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Bonita Foods management personnel advised their employees to call 9-1-1 if Aparicio was seen on the premises or near the market.

Aparicio, described as a Hispanic man in his 40s, 5’7’’ tall, around 200 pounds, with a mustache, is known as a local transient who frequently drinks near the market. He seemingly disappeared after the assault.

Laibach said several of Aparicio’s known acquaintances were questioned about his whereabouts, but no leads were found.

According to Laibach, the reason Aparicio wasn’t found on Fallbrook’s streets was because he and an accomplice, Javier Diaz, 24, had been arrested for allegedly stealing a microwave from a downtown business the same day the clerk was assaulted.

Aparicio was released from Vista Jail on March 13, shaved his mustache off and went back to the Bonita Foods parking lot. Witnesses quickly called law enforcement with his whereabouts.

Aparicio was placed back in custody and returned to Vista Jail. He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, threatening to cause death and battery with serious bodily injury.

While bail has been set at $80,000 for Aparicio, both he and Diaz remain in custody with immigration holds.

Several attempts were made by this newspaper to contact Bonita Foods management for comment, but calls were unreturned.

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