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Army veteran comes to aid of victim in attack at Oceanside transit station

Posted at 2:29 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 21:34:08-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) -- An Army veteran sprang into action when he witnessed a man attacking another man at an Oceanside transit station.

Oceanside police said the incident happened Tuesday at around 9:30 a.m. on the Amtrak platform at the transit station on 195 S Tremont St.

Police said Craig Chaviez allegedly attacked and stabbed a 30-year-old man. When another man -- identified as 40-year-old Andrew Reinicke, tried to intervene, police alleged Chaviez punched him in the ribs and stabbed him in the head area.

Reinicke was ready to take a train to culinary school in Pasadena when the incident occurred. The Army veteran told ABC 10News’ Michael Chen that he was dressed in his "chef whites" and reading some notes just before the attack.

“A guy rushed up, jumped on top of him and started wailing on him,” Reinicke said of the victim.

Reinicke said as the fight escalated, that’s when he decided to get involved.

“You see someone who needs defending and you do it. You don’t necessarily choose to do it, you just do it,” said Reinicke.

After jumping into the fray and tussling with the attacker, Reinicke said the man pulled out a small knife.

“He was punching me in the eye, the ribs, and the face. He comes at me again, throws me to the ground and tries to stab me as often as he can. He ends up getting me right in the head,” Reinicke said.

Reinicke told ABC 10News that the knife “did pierce the skull” and he suffered a “little bit of bleeding on the brain.” He said his adrenaline was pumping so he did not feel any pain initially.

According to Reinicke, the attacker then accused him and the first victim of robbing him before walking towards buses.

Witnesses said Chaviez tried to flee from the scene, but he was arrested a short time later.

Oceanside police said the 25-year-old Chaviez, who is from Inglewood, was a fugitive wanted in Los Angeles County over an aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon case. He reportedly arrived in Oceanside the night before.

Police said there is no known motive and believe it was a random attack.

The victims’ injuries were not believed to be serious.

Reinicke said he wasn’t afraid to get involved because he knew the situation needed to be stopped.

He doesn’t consider himself a hero but described himself as “someone who loves his family and community and wants to see this world be a better place."

In addition to his head injury, Reinicke suffered bruised ribs and a black eye.