After reviewing surveillance footage following a brutal attack at a San Jacinto 7-11 store officers arrested a suspect, officials reported today.
The assault took place just before 2:30 a.m. on Sunday Dec. 23 at a 7-11 located in the 1400 block of South San Jacinto Avenue.
According to a sheriff’s report, 20-year-old Robert Gomez entered the convenience store and attempted to steal a 40-ounce bottle of beer.
The employee followed Gomez outside in an effort to stop him.
Once outside, the employee fell and Gomez ran off. He then returned and began beating the victim with the full bottle of beer.
“The suspect then punched the victim repeatedly with his fists as the victim lay unconscious and then fled the scene on foot,” Sgt. Sargent reported.
Responding officers searched the area and did not locate the suspect.
On Wednesday Dec. 26, a crime analyst reviewed the surveillance video and noticed similarities between the suspect and a male who was arrested months earlier in San Jacinto for theft.
In addition, officers assigned to the San Jacinto Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team also recognized the suspect in the video as someone they contacted just hours before the assault on Dec. 23.
Sargent said those same officers located the suspect at a Hemet area business and arrested him without incident.
Gomez was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility and is being held on $1 million bail.
Due to the severity of the attack and the massive trauma suffered by the victim, Gomez is being charged with attempted homicide.
“The victim suffered a major head injury during the assault and is still listed in critical condition at a local hospital,” Sargent explained.
Anyone with additional information regarding this crime is encouraged to contact Investigator Janecka or the San Jacinto Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 951-654-2702.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.