SAN DIEGO - A man suspected of punching a 76-year-old driver in the face following an apparent road rage incident in April has been arrested, El Cajon police announced Friday.
According to police, 56-year-old Thomas Clayton Sikes was booked into jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing great bodily injury in connection with the April 30 altercation.
In the incident, Ron Torncello was talking to his wife on his cellphone while driving through a CVS Pharmacy parking lot at 572 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon.
"I was still on the phone with my wife when this guy walked up screaming, 'You were on the phone, you were on the phone,'" Torncello told 10News in a June interview.
In surveillance video, the suspect is seen punching Torncello as he was getting out of his car.
The assault left Torncello, an Army veteran, with major injuries that required two reconstructive surgeries, according to police.
After hearing about the arrest, Torncello told 10News on Friday, "I still have pain on the left side of my face and a numbness is still there, but suddenly, the anxiety is gone. It's a tremendous relief."
Torncello said the beating could have continued if a Good Samaritan hadn't chased the attacker off.
"I don't know where he is or who he is. Would I run into him again? It was always been in the back of my mind," said Torncello.
Determined to get his attacker off the streets, Torncello pitched in more than half the amount for the $2,500 Crime Stoppers reward.
One of those tips led police to Sikes' arrest.
"He was very aggressive and his behavior told me I'm not the only one he's ever assaulted or will assault. I feel like justice is on its way to being concluded," said Sikes.
Sikes will be arraigned next week.