Detectives investigating the death of a restaurant worker beaten as he walked home Saturday morning say they continue to assume that he was a victim of men wielding baseball bats who may have attacked three others in Orange and Santa Ana in less than two hours.
“We’re just assuming these could be related. We don’t have a witness or statements from the victim, but the similarities are obvious,” said Sgt. Jim Peery.
The victim of the first attack, which occurred at 11:45 p.m. Friday, was identified as Alfredo Ernesto Rojas, 24, of Santa Ana. Rojas was walking with a friend in the 200 block of East 17th Street when three men in a red, two-door Chevrolet drove up and one got out, struck Rojas on the head with a bat and stole his money, police said. Rojas described the men as black but a witness described them as Latino.
Little more than an hour later, a 29-year-old man riding a bicycle on North Tustin Street in Orange was struck with a baseball bat, kicked, beaten and robbed. He could not describe the attackers or their numbers. His name was withheld.
About 1:20 a.m. Saturday, Froylan Velasquez, 26, was found severely beaten near the gate of his Tustin apartment complex and died later that morning. Police said they have found no witnesses to the attack.
And at about 1:30 a.m. Rene Jimenez, 24, of Santa Ana was riding his bicycle in the 800 block of North Bristol Street in Santa Ana when he was pulled off and struck by baseball bats. He described his attackers as two black men.