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Man assaulted in fast-food restaurant parking lot

A 25-year old black male was transported to Palomar Hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being assaulted by a Hispanic man in his early 20s on Thursday evening, July 29 at approximately 7 p.m. in the rear parking lot of a local food restaurant.

Fallbrook Detective Jim Pucillo said the incident is under investigation and video surveillance tapes from the property where the McDonald’s restaurant is located have been reviewed.

“The victim said he was drinking a beer when a Hispanic male approached him and started arguing with him,” said Pucillo, adding that the victim did not disclose what the argument was about.

“He said shortly after the argument started, he was assaulted by the man and lost consciousness,” said Pucillo. “It was one punch from one person.”

An independent witness told officers that when she drove into the restaurant’s parking lot, she saw the victim on the ground and his assailant kicking him in the ribcage.

“She saw the victim lying on the ground near the drive-thru area at the rear of the restaurant,” said Pucillo.

Pucillo said the assailant then fled the parking lot, climbed over the wall at the back of the property, and disappeared onto South Vine Street, an area frequented by a local street gang. The surveillance footage also indicated that the suspect had come from the same general area before attacking the victim.

“The witness described the Hispanic male as approximately 20 years old with a shaved head, wearing long tan-colored shorts, white socks pulled up high, and tennis shoes,” said Pucillo, noting that the attire described is typically that favored by local street gang members.

Pucillo said the suspect is still at large and when arrested will likely be charged with either felony battery or assault with a deadly weapon.

According to Pucillo, the victim in the assault has had reoccurring confrontations with individuals in Fallbrook.

“We keep seeing his name pop up,” he explained.

Ongoing problems in the area of South Vine Street are being addressed with a special detail organized by the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation, said Sgt. Ron McCracken.

“We have a core group of people in that area that don’t respect law enforcement or others around them,” explained Pucillo. “We have a proactive team working the area and concentrating on the problems that are occurring, instead of just reacting to it.”

McCracken said some individuals have already been taken into custody and they have been primarily juveniles.

“They’ve made quite a few arrests already,” said McCracken.

Andrea Verdin conctributed to this story.

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