EL CERRITO, Calif. (KRON) — A homeless man was arrested for an alleged unprovoked attack in El Cerrito on Wednesday, the El Cerrito Police Department said in a press release. The 41-year-old suspect, whom police did not name, was also arrested two weeks earlier for a similar crime in the same area.
The victim was walking his dog on the Ohlone Greenway near the Bruce King Memorial Dog Park when he was attacked from behind by an unknown suspect. Police said the victim was punched in the back of the head 2-3 times and lost his balance.
ECPD said the suspect then charged the victim and punched him 3-4 more times in the face. The victim eventually grabbed the suspect and pinned him on the ground to prevent further assault. A crowd responded to the help the victim, holding the suspect down while the victim escaped.
Officers found the victim on the Ohlone Greenway, near Hill Street. He had abrasions and lacerations on his limbs and head after the attack, but he declined medical attention.
Another officer found a possible suspect on the 1700 block of Lexington Avenue. The victim said the man was his attacker.
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Police said the suspect was arrested for a similar incident two weeks earlier, which was determined to be a hate crime. Police said he has “an extensive history of violent encounters with citizens and law enforcement.” He was arrested on Wednesday and is on active felony probation in Contra Costa County for robbery and grand theft.