Teen who police say beat man, 72, with a bat for touching his car turns self in

An 18-year-old man suspected of beating a man with a baseball bat for touching his car at a gas station surrendered to police Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The suspect, Samuel Alvarez, is a tagger with a history of drug use who is known to hang out near a 76 gas station in the 4500 block of Westminster Avenue, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Police say Alvarez attacked a 72-year-old man about 7:30 p.m. Sunday with an aluminum bat.

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Bertagna described the man as “savagely beaten.”

“The suspect beat him about the head and body. Most of the bones on the left side of his face were broken,” Bertagna said.

The man, Jose Chacon, was walking to his car when he slipped and fell, accidentally touching Alvarez’s vehicle, police said. Alvarez got out of his car and confronted Chacon.

After a few words were exchanged, Alvarez went back to his car, grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and charged at Chacon, Bertagna said. Chacon, who is retired but collects scrap metal, grabbed a piece of metal to defend himself.

Surveillance video of the confrontation released by police shows what happened next:

The young man holds the bat in his right hand above his head with his left hand out and steps toward Chacon, who is stepping back and holding a piece of metal in his right hand.

Chacon swings at the teen and misses, and the teen swings back, landing several blows to Chacon’s body and then one to the left side of Chacon’s jaw, sending him to the ground.

“Just for simply touching his car. Obviously if he was falling it was an accident,” Chacon’s daughter, Vanessa Johnson, told KTLA.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

Times staff writer Sarah Parvini contributed to this report.


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2:42 p.m.: This article has been updated with information that the suspect turned himself in.

This article was originally published at 6:56 a.m.