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California

Teen charged with attempted murder in bat attack on 71-year-old man at Santa Ana gas station

An 18-year-old has been charged with using an aluminum bat to severely beat a 71-year-old grandfather who touched his car at a Santa Ana gas station, prosecutors said.

Samuel Elijah Alvarez turned himself over to police nearly a week after the attack on Jose Chacon, authorities said. Alvarez, a Santa Ana resident, now faces attempted murder, aggravated assault, battery and weapons charges in connection with the attack, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The offenses also carry sentencing allegations that could add more prison time if convicted. If Alvarez is found guilty on all charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison as well as an additional six years.

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The attack occurred about 7:25 p.m. Feb. 7 when Chacon slipped and fell as he was walking to his car and accidentally touched Alvarez’s vehicle at a 76 gas station in the 4500 block of Westminster Avenue, police said. Alvarez got out of his car and confronted Chacon.

The pair exchanged words before Alvarez went back to his car, grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and pushed Chacon, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Surveillance video shows Alvarez holding the bat in his right hand above his head as he charged Chacon, who at that point had reached into the bed of his pickup and grabbed a small pipe to protect himself. Chacon is retired but collects scrap metal.

Prosecutors said Alvarez swung the bat at Chacon, who responded by swinging his pipe at the teen.

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Chacon missed, and the teen swung back, striking him three times.

After the attack, Alvarez got in his vehicle and drove away.

Chacon was left lying on the ground. He was taken to a hospital, where he received surgery for extensive damage to his jaw.

Chacon suffered three jaw fractures that required his mouth to be wired shut, four loose teeth and scrapes and bruises, prosecutors said.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

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