Vallejo city worker brutally attacked by mob

February 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Dozens of teenagers saw it happen in broad daylight, but no one has come forward to identify the mob of young people who beat up a Vallejo city worker. Police have released surveillance video to generate tips.

The attack happened in front of two cameras on Feb. 1 at approximately 3:19 p.m.

Surveillance video from Britton's Mini Mart near Vallejo High School shows the 46-year-old city of Vallejo worker in a back hoe being hit with rocks by some kids. He then drives back to the location at Nebraska and Broadway streets to confront the kids who begin attacking the man. The city worker gets knocked down and eventually a crowd of up to 40 people begin beating the man while he is on the ground.

The victim, a 20-year city employee, was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Vallejo where he is being treated for his injuries. Police say the mob fractured his skull, broke his jaw and collarbone, and knocked several teeth out of his mouth.

On top of it all, they went through his pockets and stole his wallet, all while people cheered in front of another camera from a bystander who shot video. Police have already identified several suspects in the video, but they are also offering $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of any other suspects who took part in this mob beating.

'I saw some punches thrown, but that's about it," said a witness who believes there were close to 40 people in the area.

"That's the way it is out here every morning," Vallejo resident Leonardo Morazan said. "I even went and talked to the principals before last year. About a year or two years ago they jumped my son. They stole everything from him. I had to go inside and say, 'You know, this needs to stop."

A fellow city worker is one of many asking questions. He did not want his identity shown for fear of retribution.

"Where is the mayor of Vallejo? Where is his statement, or anybody in the community? There's no outrage. They act like this is an everyday occurrence, that this is OK to happen," he said.

The outrage is provoked by the video shot at Britton's Mini Mart where the incident happened. Owner Kamal Sandhu says crimes like this are a common occurrence.

"There's always something or the other. They're smoking, or they're smoking marijuana all the time... even drinking. I've seen kids drinking E&J after school," Sandhu said. "[Police] can't do anything. There's so many of them."

He shared with us some of his collection of crimes caught on tape, including a shooting last week that he says involved four students and one former student at Vallejo High.

Some parents say this has got to stop.

"My kid came home from school practically in tears, scared because of bullets going through the windows of these businesses around here," parent Michael Rosenthal said. "This is like every other day this type of stuff is going on."

"It's getting worse out here," parent Charles Guthery said. "The city don't have any more police."

But the police have seen budget cuts reduce the force from 150 to about 100 officers. They are looking for help.

"The school nearby, where some of the students may be attending, is helping us in attempting to identify some of these individuals," Vallejo Police Lt. Abel Tenorio said.

A relative of the victim tells ABC7 he is in very bad shape and still in the hospital.

Police are hoping the $1,000 reward they are offering will generate tips. A lot of people saw this crime, but so far no one has stepped forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Postolaki with the Vallejo Police Department at (800) 488-9383.

UPDATE: Police increased the reward Thursday to $3,000.