Police searching for man accused of spitting on woman, punching her in face at bar

SAN DIEGO - San Diego police are searching for a man accused of spitting in a woman's face and punching her as she worked in a bar. The woman contacted Team 10 Troubleshooter Cristin Severance to get the man's photo out there.

Adrian Palacios has worked at Fiesta Cantina in Hillcrest for a year and a half and said everyone is welcome at the bar.

"For this to happen here, it's still shocking," said Palacios.

At the end of March, Palacios was in the back of the bar monitoring the bathrooms when a group of three people got in line. She said a customer started to get belligerent, so she told his friends that it was time to leave.

"He started calling me so not so nice words, a drag queen … it went from 0 to 60 in like three seconds," she said. "He actually spit between their heads into my face and then I was probably standing here like this and that's when he came through here and punched me right in the face."

Palacios was rushed to the hospital where she had emergency surgery. There is a small plate in her face and she still has double vision and headaches.

"All of this is still numb," said Palacios as she motioned to her face.

Police pulled several still photos from the bar's surveillance cameras and made wanted posters.

"I think I'm honestly more upset he spit in my face," she said. "It's disgusting, so degrading. It makes me wonder like, what kind of life did he have growing up? Because I'm pretty sure if somebody did that to his mother or his sister or his grandmother, he would be furious."

Palacios put her story on Facebook and it has received a large number of shares. Detectives have some good leads and they may be able to find the man soon.

Anyone with any information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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