Victim recalls 2012 attack by costumed elves

Elves identified as sheriff's deputies

For the first time, Ryan Horner is sharing his story of a bizarre sight followed by a brutal attack downtown 16 months ago at the hands of two off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies dressed like elves.        

On the night of Dec. 7, 2012, Horner and a friend, Spencer Morey, were coming out of the Altitude Sky Lounge when they saw a bizarre sight on the sidewalk; several men in elf costumes yelling at a man who was not in costume.
           
“They were outnumbered and about to be jumped,” Horner said. “As a peacemaker, I'm just trying to neutralize the situation,” said Horner.
           
Concerned about the man, Horner approached them.

“Just having a conversation, what's going on here, and I get hit on the side of the head and knocked out,” Horner said.
           
Horner's friend says one of the elves sucker punched Horner, who ended up unconscious in the street. According to Horner's attorney, Gene Iredale, surveillance video showed the elves were not done.

“Then the second elf gave him a full, football-sized kick right in the head,” Iredale said.
           
Morey said one of the men then grabbed a skateboard and chased him down the street, threatening him. Eventually, some bystanders helped corral the elves, before police arrived and arrested them.
           
Then came the shocker, both elves were actually Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies identified as Miguel Aguilar and Derek Von Kleist. Both deputies, who worked in Los Angeles area jails, were attending a costume party that night.

“Under oath, saying you're going to be protecting and serving this country, and you're acting in that demeanor, it’s pathetic if you ask me,” Horner said.

Aguilar pleaded guilty felony to assault. Von Kleist pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Neither served any jail time.
           
Horner, meanwhile, suffered a severe concussion, a cracked tooth, cuts and bruises. He recently filed a lawsuit against the two men.

“My message is, it's not okay to act in that manner and hide behind and get away with it,” Horner said. “I want other officers to set an example and stand up for what’s right.”

Aguilar has since lost his job. 10News is still waiting on word from the sheriff’s department regarding Kleist’s job status.

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