LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Sheriff's deputies are seeking the public's help finding a suspect who viciously attacked and robbed an elderly man at a Lancaster grocery store.
The 80-year-old victim had been in the bathroom of a grocery store Wednesday morning in the 1000 block of East Avenue J in Lancaster. Another man repeatedly punched him and kicked him and then stole his wallet before fleeing on foot.
The victim was brought to the ICU of a local hospital where he was treated for severe facial injuries and several broken ribs. He is expected to need multiple surgeries.
His family says he is on blood thinners and could have bled to death on the floor of the bathroom had he not been found quickly.
Roberto Lopez Flores is a grandfather of 17. His family says he would always accompany his wife to the supermarket to ensure she is safe.
That morning they were in the checkout line when he went to the bathroom. His wife soon started wondering why he hadn't come back. That was when another customer found him there in a pool of blood.
Now his family is pleading for the public's help. They can't even visit him in the hospital because of rules connected to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I just don't understand how someone can brutally hurt an old man," said Cecilia Ramirez, the victim's daughter. "My dad's 80 years old. He doesn't hurt anybody."
Detectives described the suspect as a Black male, about 20-25 years old, standing about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue shorts. Investigators at this time have not released any images of the suspect.
Officials are asking anyone who may have been in the area of Superior Grocers, 1010 East Avenue J around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and saw a person matching that description to contact Lancaster detectives at (661)948-8466.
"If you see something, hear something or have any information, please help us bring justice for this victim," the sheriff's department said.