Police in California are searching for the suspect who viciously attacked a Navy vet at a trolley station in downtown La Mesa.
Surveillance video of the attack on June 13, shows the suspect violently attacking Frank Cerasoli from behind.
Cerasoli, who performs as a clown for children, was wrapping up a shopping trip for balloons and clown makeup at a costume store in downtown La Mesa. Police say he was on his way back home, riding on a scooter, when the suspect ran up from behind beating him and knocking him down to the ground. Cerasoli was left bruised and bloodied on the sidewalk.
No arrests have been made. The suspect is described as a 17-year-old male with long, braided hair. “At the time of the incident he was wearing a white sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black baseball cap with red tennis shoes,” according to police.
Cerasoli told NBC 7 that when he left the costume store earlier that night, he came across a young couple. He said the woman made a funny face at him, so he made one back. Apparently, the woman’s male companion didn’t like that. Before he could make sense of anything, Cerasoli said the man started punching him.
Cerasoli says he started screaming, “Just let it go,” but the guy kept coming towards him. Cerasoli walked away, but the next thing he knew, someone slammed him on the back of the head and he went flying face down on the ground.
The suspect is seen on the video running away after the brutal beating.
Cerasoli could not give police a good description of his attacker, due to his short-term memory loss from a motorcycle accident when he was younger. But he said he’ll never forget how the attack made him feel, he told NBC 7.
Cerasoli, who is well-known and loved by his community, often performs as a clown for children’s parties because he says nothing brings him more joy than making people happy.
Police are now looking at surveillance video from the trolley, but they believe many more witnesses have not yet come forward. They’re urging anyone with information to contact La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400.