Host Jailed After Party-Goer Assaulted in Costa Mesa

A part-time playground counselor at a Costa Mesa elementary school has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a man who was attending a party at his home, police said Saturday.

Police said they found Michael Joseph Caristi, 23, of Orange lying unconscious in the street when they responded to a loud-party complaint about 10 p.m. Friday in the 1200 block of Londonderry Street.

Caristi had a severe head injury, officers said. He was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he was in critical condition late Saturday, officials said.


Police said Caristi was punched in the head by Jason Thomas Richardson, 22, of Costa Mesa, who was hosting the gathering. Richardson was jailed at the Costa Mesa police station on suspicion of assault. Bail was set at $50,000.

Richardson told investigators he was employed by the city for his job at California Elementary School, 3232 N. California St.