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By Collin Breaux

Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies in San Juan Capistrano are seeking information from the public regarding an alleged assault of a special needs man on New Year’s Day.

At approximately 8:50 a.m. on Jan. 1, deputies assigned to San Juan Capistrano Police Services were called to the area of Ali Paz and Via Positiva regarding a 60-year-old man who had been assaulted, according to spokesperson Sgt. Dennis T. Breckner.

“Upon arrival, deputies were unable to locate evidence of a crime scene,” Breckner said. “Additional deputies responded to the hospital, where they met with and interviewed the victim, who was unable to provide any details about what occurred.”

The victim was reportedly treated for facial injuries, possible broken bones, and abrasions and bruising. 

Breckner said authorities are investigating the incident and that anyone with information should call OCSD at 949.770.6011.

A post on Instagram about the incident by Marissa Arreola, a niece of the victim, has been circulated and led to widespread reaction on social media. In the caption, Arreola asked for people to share the post to spread the word, and for anyone with information to contact authorities or message her.

Arreola declined to comment at length when contacted by The Capistrano Dispatch, but she did say her main concern is for the public to know they are looking for more information, and they are not concerned about money or asking for financial help.

“We are just trying to get this as much as we can to the public, in hopes that someone has information or cameras,” Arreola said.

Collin Breaux

Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at                         

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