MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Murrieta woman is speaking out after she was allegedly attacked by a security guard outside a restaurant. A suspect is under arrest, but the woman is still struggling with significant injuries.
"You can't walk around at 23 years old thinking you can beat up on people because you're bigger than us," said victim Ashly Guardino, 38. "It doesn't work like that."
Murrieta police said the incident occurred June 25 at approximately 2 a.m. outside the Cove Bar and Grill in the 40600 block of Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Guardino said she'd just finished up a night of dancing and was sitting on a bench waiting for an Uber ride when the suspect drove up in a car and began antagonizing her.
"He was heckling me from the car to the bench where I was sitting at, calling me names and laughing at me," said Guardino, who then approached the suspect to confront him.
"I said, why are you being disrespectful? And he got out of the car... I was standing with my hands in my pockets discussing his disrespect, and he hit me in the face."
Guardino said the restaurant provided her with surveillance video of the incident. After she said she was punched, the video shows her trying to kick the suspect.
"I was angry. I was standing my ground. You can't assault somebody and then tell me I need to walk away from here," said Guardino, who then tried to confront the suspect again.
"In hindsight, I should have walked away, but I was buying time. I was making a scene. I was very loud. I stepped up to him and took a swing... It was somewhat self-defense; a fight or flight type of reaction," she said.
That's when she said the suspect struck her a second time.
"He knocked me first with the elbow and second with the hand to my face. Which knocked me out for 15 minutes until the ambulance got there," she said.
Guardino said it was her Uber driver who called 911. Paramedics took her to a nearby hospital. She said she was hospitalized for a total of nine days.
"I have permanent hearing (loss). I have a basal skull fracture. I have so far minor brain damage, which has slowed down a lot of my speech, and I have bleeding on both sides of my brain."
Murrieta police said they arrested Kingtupu Logotala, 23, Hemet, on suspicion of battery with serious injury, and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.
Guardino said she has hired an attorney. Eyewitness News has reached out to the Cove Bar and Grill for comment.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Guardino with medical expenses and recovery.