Santa Ana store worker severely burned after man throws bucket of acid on him

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Police in Santa Ana are asking for the public's help in locating a suspect in a bizarre acid attack that left a man with severe burns.

Police said the man was leaving work at a grocery store along 4th Street at about 9 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted another man -- with his face and head covered -- standing at his car and holding a paint tray. The suspect had placed a silver container on the hood, and the victim asked if the container was his.

Santa Ana PD Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said the suspect answered 'yes,' and threw some type of acid substance on him.

A co-worker rushed to the man's screams for help, and the suspect took off.

In part of a 911 call, you can hear the co-worker say, "Someone threw some kind of chemical on one of my workers, and we have no idea what it is."

The victim is in the hospital with second-degree burns over half of his face and body. Police said he will survive.

Rosa Garcia, who knows the victim, described the aftermath.

"His shirt was melting on the floor, like if it was burning," she recalled.

Police are looking at surveillance video and asking witnesses to come forward. They want to know who did this and why they attacked the victim, who has no criminal history.

"They damaged his whole life already, you know. The people that did that, it's like they don't have no mercy," Garcia said.

If you have any information about the crime, you're asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
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