Ed Bedford 6 p.m., March 11
Man Suspected of Bath-Salts-Crazed Attacks
A man appeared to be under the influence of “bath salts” or methamphetamine when he attacked people on the street in Vista, according to a deputy who testified in court yesterday.
Felix Hernandez Torres Junior, 25, is accused of knocking one man unconscious and shoving an elderly woman to the ground during a violent rampage the afternoon of June 3, 2012.
Two men said they were going door-to-door on East California Avenue on a Sunday afternoon, handing out church fliers, when Torres Junior answered the door.
Torres Junior reportedly asked the men for money and showed them a knife, and then pursued the men when they retreated. One of the men, 19-year-old Yosgar Morales, testified that he was hit from behind and knocked unconscious. Morales said he awoke on the ground, bleeding, and “I heard his voice, ‘You want some more? You want some more?’” The alleged victim said he went to Tri-City Medical Center where personnel took pieces of rock from a gash in his head and applied five stitches.
Two women said they were visiting outside, near the Torres home, when Torres Junior approached them and demanded money. “He just said, ‘How much do you have? Give it to me!” according to 75-year-old Victoria Cedillo. “I said I don’t have any.”
The tiny woman told the court, “He grabbed me, then he threw me. And he knocked me over.”
The alleged victims testified at a preliminary hearing in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on July 30, 2012.
“I said, ‘Calm down! I’m going to call the police!’ And then he threatened me. He had a knife. He went like this,” Mrs. Cedillo said.
When Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hanks arrived, he spoke to Felix Torres Senior, father of the alleged attacker. “He said his son was still inside the house, going crazy,” the deputy testified.
A knife and some jewelry were taken from Torres Junior’s pockets when he was arrested, deputy Hanks reported. The jewelry was taken from a locked box that had been broken open, father Torres Senior said the box and jewelry belonged to him.
Deputy Hanks told the court he had 25-year-old Torres Junior in a booking area when “He said he would slice me too if I didn’t give him the money.”
Judge Aaron Katz ordered Torres Junior held on four felonies, including assault and battery and attempted robbery and elder abuse.
Torres Junior has three other active criminal cases following him through the Vista courthouse, they all appear drug-related. His next court appearance is set for August 27.
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