Man attacked with hatchet outside Corona gym turns out to be Bollywood actor

Rob McMillan Image
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Man attacked with hatchet in Corona turns out to be Bollywood actor
Man attacked with hatchet outside Corona gym turns out to be famous Bollywood actor Aman Dhaliwal.

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- A man armed with a knife and hatchet who stabbed another man inside a Corona gym has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Ronald Chand, 30, Santa Ana, made his first court appearance in downtown Riverside this morning. He's being held on $1 million bail.

The violent encounter occurred on Tuesday morning at a Planet Fitness gym located at 3685 Grand Oaks in Corona. According to police, the attack began in the parking lot when the alleged victim observed the suspect behaving erratically in his vehicle, and so started to record video of the suspect with his cell phone.

Police say the suspect became upset, blocked the victim with his car, and then got out and attacked him. The victim then ran inside the gym, and the suspect followed him.

"I heard screaming behind me," said John Keane, who was exercising in the gym when it happened. "I thought people were arguing, so I kind of ignored it at first and then it got louder, so I turned off the machine and turned around and I noticed a guy who had a knife in one hand and hatchet in another, and his arm around another guy who was bleeding."

The alleged victim is identified as Aman Dhaliwal, 36, Corona, who is a Bollywood actor with more than a dozen movies and TV shows to his credit.

In the video, Dhaliwal waits for the moment when Chand is distracted, and then attempts to knock the weapon out of his hand and push him to the ground. Keane and three other witnesses then held Chand down to the ground until police arrived.

Eyewitness News spoke with a family member of Dhaliwal's, who said the actor suffered numerous injuries during the attack, but is out of the hospital and recovering. He's staying at a nearby hotel and currently is requesting privacy.

Police said it doesn't appear that the suspect and victim knew each other. Witnesses said it appeared that the suspect was under the influence, but police haven't been able to confirm that allegation.

"He acted like he was on drugs," said Keane. "He was screaming something about rape. I don't know what that meant, and after that he was yelling for water.

"It was just ramblings and screaming," said Keane.