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Deaf, elderly Chula Vista man assaulted at neighborhood park

Dead, elderly Chula Vista man assaulted at neighborhood park
Posted at 4:20 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 07:53:09-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - An elderly Chula Vista man who is deaf is recounting a brutal assault at his neighborhood park on Wednesday night.

That night, like most nights, Lonnie Matlock, 75, went on a short walk with his dog, Chief, to Heritage Park.

There, around 7:30 p.m., he played with his boxer.

“We were playing tug of war near the basketball court, and she was on sitting on a blanket,” said Matlock.

Nearby was a woman looking at her phone. Matlock said Chief never got closer than five feet to the woman. She seemed to know one of several men playing basketball a few feet away.

“She said something to him, and he came rapidly over. Very angry,” said Matlock.

Matlock, who is deaf, wears an implant, which allows him some limited hearing. He can read lips and says the man, in his 20s, was cursing. The man then punched him hard.

“Hit me on the side of my face and knocked me to the ground. While I was on the ground, he hit me again, as hard as he could,” said Matlock.

Matlock, who suffers from asthma and COPD, tried to catch his breath. As he was lying here, witnesses say the man targeted his dog, kicking him forcefully, before Chief took off.

Dazed, Matlock asked why the man, “Why?”

“He started walking toward me to hit me again. She said, ‘Let’s go! Let’s go!’” said Matlock.

The two took off, before driving off. Chief ran home and wasn’t injured.

Matlock suffered swelling on his face, along with headaches. A day later, the jaw pain remains. So does his hope for justice.

“He might do something to someone else. I’m hoping he will be arrested … You don't hit anyone, period … especially a 75-year-old man who would not and could not defend himself against you," said Matlock.

Police have released a description of the suspect. They describe him as a man in his 20’s with dark, wavy hair, between 5’7” and 5’9” and weighing between 150 and 170 pounds. Matlock says the suspect's vehicle is a dark, 4-door sedan, possibly a BMW or a Volkswagen Jetta.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Chula Vista Police at 619-691-5151 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.