SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (KABC) --Authorities were searching for a man they said viciously attacked a pastor outside a church in San Fernando on Wednesday.
Pastor Rudy Trujillo was on his phone at about 11 a.m. outside the church in the 700 block of McClay Avenue when he was brutally attacked.
According to police and the pastor's family, Rudy Trujillo had spotted someone he knew while parked just down the street from the San Fernando church.
"He saw the guy behind him so he figured he wanted to talk to him so he was still in his car, he was going to get out, ending his call and getting out and that's when he was blindsided," said Joshua Trujillo, Rudy Trujillo's son. "He was hit right in the side of his head. He didn't see it coming."
"He knew him," Joshua Trujillo continued. "He was a former congregant."
The beating was so severe that Joshua Trujillo said his father suffered head injuries and was undergoing hip replacement surgery on Thursday.
"He's very tough," said Priscilla Trujillo, Rudy Trujillo's daughter-in-law. "He's the rock of the family so he's our everything. He's all we have."
Investigators said they were still looking for the assailant.
"We know that he's known to pastor Rudy and we do know he's a male Hispanic, somewhere between 30 to 40 years of age and he was driving a white van at the time," Sgt. Irwin Rosenberg with the San Fernando Police Department said. "I would encourage him that if he sees this story to come on in and talk to us and let us know from his perspective what happened."
Rudy Trujillo's family was baffled as to why someone would attack the beloved pastor.
"That is the question that we're all wrestling with and even people who know him too, we just don't know. We suspect that he's just having issues, disgruntled, troubled man at this point so we don't know," Joshua Trujillo said.
Anyone with information that could aid detectives in their investigation was urged to call the San Fernando Police Department's Anonymous Crime Tips line at (818) 831-5002.