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Orange County sheriff's reserve sergeant found beaten in Rancho Santa Margarita

May 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A reserve sergeant with the Orange County Sheriff's Department was found beaten in his Rancho Santa Margarita home Wednesday, and neighbors say his teenage son is responsible.

Authorities were called to the 21000 block of Shadow Rock Lane at about 9:30 a.m. after the mother of the victim found him unconscious. The 50-year-old victim, identified as Jon Kudla, was rushed to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition. He was expected to survive.

The man suffered blunt force trauma to the head, possibly caused by a hammer, investigators said. He may have also been shot in the head.

A 17-year-old boy was tracked down in the 1100 block of N. Eastman Avenue in City Terrace at about 1:30 p.m. He was driving a black convertible that was registered to the victim's family. The teen was pulled over and detained for questioning.

Authorities say the teen lives at the victim's home, but police would not confirm what his relationship was to the victim.

Neighbors say the teen is Kudla's son. One neighbor, identified only as Toan, said he thought the two had a good relationship and often saw them hanging out together.

"They were just building stuff the last time I saw them. They had a work bench out here, and they were just sanding things down, so it looked just normal. I didn't think anything was wrong at all," he said.

Authorities stressed that the attack was not a random act of crime, and neighbors should not be worried about their safety.

What led to the beating remains unclear. Investigators are waiting for a search warrant to take a closer look.


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