Suspect in Seal Beach bear spray attack linked to Proud Boys incident
A man arrested by Seal Beach police after a road rage incident in which authorities allege he fired bear spray into a car with a family inside is a convicted felon arrested earlier this year during a violent altercation involving the Proud Boys.
Marcus Kelly, 43, was apprehended in Hemet on Sunday after Seal Beach police detectives identified him as the motorist involved in the June 14 attack on Pacific Coast Highway. Investigators believe the attack may be part of a pattern of incidents involving Kelly and have asked witnesses and victims to come forward.
Seal Beach Lt. Nick Nicholas said he could not release specifics about why they suspect there may be other attacks as it is an ongoing investigation. He said the department has no evidence that the June 14 attack was a hate crime.
In April, Fresno police arrested Kelly on suspicion of being a felon in possession of bear spray after a series of street confrontations that involved members of the extremist group the Proud Boys. Kelly was detained after officers intervened in the confrontations. Fresno Chief Paco Balderrama at the time said Kelly was wearing clothing consistent with the Proud Boys, although a department spokesman said the suspect denied any affiliation.
Seal Beach investigators acknowledged Wednesday that the person they had arrested and the suspect in the April incident are the same person.
The incident in Seal Beach began with a verbal altercation shortly before 2 p.m. on June 14 as two vehicles drove south on PCH. In an attempt to distance himself from Kelly’s vehicle, police said, the other driver turned off of PCH. But after that driver parked on Anderson Street, Kelly allegedly pulled up next to the vehicle and sprayed it and the driver with bear spray. According to detectives, the other driver’s vehicle windows were down and the spray entered the passenger compartment. In addition to the driver, there was another adult in the vehicle, along with a child in the back seat.
All of the occupants suffered injuries, including eye and skin irritation from the highly concentrated aerosol spray. Kelly allegedly then fled southbound.
Several witnesses saw the attack, which was also partially captured on surveillance video. That helped Seal Beach police identify the suspect and his 2006 green Saturn, police said.
Kelly was arrested without incident and booked into the Orange County Jail on suspicion of assault and battery, unlawful use of pepper spray and felony child endangerment.
In the last year, Kelly has been seen protesting at Los Alamitos school district headquarters and at various rallies with known members of the Proud Boys and other extremist groups.
Seal Beach police say that anyone with information about incidents involving Kelly should contact Det. Bruno Balderrama at (562) 799-4100, Ext. 1109, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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