Parking lot punch kills Corona del Mar man

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. "Most of the brokerage community knew who Clint was. It's a tragedy that we lost such a great young man with a lot of promise," said Jeff Manley, chief executive officer of CresaPartners.

Those who knew Clint "CJ" Hubbard are trying to come to grips with his death.

"I was able to sit in the ICU and held his hand and say goodbye to him and it's still just unimaginable," said Hubbard's friend Lindsay Nicholas. "He did not deserve this."

The suspect connected with Hubbard's death has not been found.

Hubbard, 27, was leaving Code Restaurant and Lounge in Newport Beach around 1:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. His friend was behind him. There was some kind of altercation between a man and woman ahead of them in the parking lot.

"[The friend who was with Clint that night] described it: Clint was a few feet behind this man and this woman and basically, all of a sudden he saw a punch thrown at Clint. Clint spun around, made eye contact with him and then fell to his knees," said Nicholas.

Hubbard was rushed to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

Hubbard's father says the impact caused an artery in his brain to burst. Hubbard was declared brain-dead in the hospital.

"While he was on life support, it was clear that one punch had killed him," said Hubbard's father.

Co-workers at CresaPartners, where Hubbard worked for more than three years as a commercial real estate broker, say he was a quick study, competitive and always opinionated.

"That's one of the things I loved and admired about him, was that he was not afraid to ask tough questions," said Manley. "He was not afraid to stand up for what was right."

Some wonder if he was trying to break up a fight between the unidentified man and woman.

"I think he was defending the honor of an individual and was at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Nicholas.

Police are following leads and hope witnesses can provide a description of the male suspect.

"Someone needs to come forward so that justice can be done," said Manley.

Police are having a problem getting a good, detailed description of the suspect. At least one witness described the suspect as in his mid-20s, 5 feet 8 inches to 5-10 in height, weighing approximately 160 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt and baggy blue jeans. The woman who was with the suspect was wearing a white tank top and possibly a skirt or short shorts. She was described as taller than the suspect.

Anyone with information related to the case was asked to call the Newport Beach Police Department at (800) 550-6273 (NBPD).

A memorial is planned for Hubbard for December 11 at the San Francisco Solano Catholic Church in Rancho Santa Margarita.

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