Santa Ana police on Friday asked for the public’s help in identifying an assailant who punched and kicked an 83-year-old man in a vicious attack that was captured on surveillance video.
The incident occurred after the victim pulled into a parking lot at 5015 West Edinger Ave. (map) about 6:10 a.m., parked and exited his vehicle, the Santa Ana Police Department said in a news release.
Family members later gave the man's name as Tuyen Nguyen.
In accordance with his morning routine, he was on his way to buy coffee and a newspaper, police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Footage released by authorities shows Nguyen walking unassumingly when he is suddenly approached by another man, who punches him in the face.
In an attack that police detectives described as “without provocation,” Nguyen then falls to the ground and is apparently punched at least two more times before being kicked by the assailant.
The elderly man was hospitalized at Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for a brain hemorrhage and broken facial bones, according to relatives.
"He's in a lot of pain right now, physically," his daughter, Julie Nguyen said. "And for us it's a mental anguish, mental pain. It's a lot."
Authorities initially said the victim was 81 years old. His family later confirmed he was 83.
"I'm still in shock," said his son, Peter Nguyen. "I still can't believe this would happen to my family, especially to my father. He is the nicest individual — the last one that you could think something like this would happen to."
The attacker was being sought. Investigators described him as black, about 40 to 50 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, unshaven and wearing a gray long-sleeve shirt or black sweater.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Cpl. Leo Rodriquez of the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-493-9135 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.