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Beer query leads to assault

Man suffered broken nose, ribs

Posted: September 29, 2008 8:44 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Bob Meza said no to a drunk man who asked for a beer. The man sucker punched Meza, breaking his nose, ribs and bruising his kidney, Meza said.

Meza just got home from a long day at work Friday morning. At 1:30 a.m. he stopped at the Alliance Gas Station in Newhall to top off his tank, Meza said.

"I've seen problems there before. I never thought they would target me," he said about the gas station.

The assailant appeared intoxicated and was slurring his words, Meza said. Meza had no cash and he told the that. The man became agitated, Meza said.

"He told me if I had money for gas I had money for beer," Meza said.

The man turned his attention to Meza's German Shepherd Daisy seated in the back seat of the truck.

The man threatened to kill the dog and kill Meza, he said. Meza tried to defuse the situation.

"I asked him if he had been drinking," Meza said. The man admitted he was drunk.

"I told him to go home and sleep it off," Meza said.

That's when things turned violent. The man punched Meza in the nose, breaking it and leaving him black and blue. Meza said he never saw the punch coming. He doesn't even know how long he was knocked out on the ground.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's deputies arrived minutes later. Deputies didn't find the suspect after searching the area, Meza said.

Meza was treated at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

"I'm on pain medication, but it's not working," he said.

Doctors told Meza he'll need six to eight weeks to recover before returning to work. Santa Clarita always seemed safe and Meza said he never worried about crime. All that has changed, he said.

"I'll probably never buy gas there again," he said.

Meza described the suspect as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing between 210 and 220 pounds with short hair.

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