Man punched unconscious by homeless person in Little Italy

Posted at 11:20 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 02:22:04-05

Police arrested a man who was trying to punch random people walking down the sidewalk in Little Italy Friday night.

Police say 46-year-old James Christopher Avila hit one man so hard it knocked him unconscious near Beech Street and Union Street.

Rolando Venancio works at The Kebab Shop, and says two women burst in to get help.

“They were like "A homeless guy just knocked out a guy!'” Venancio said. 

Witnesses who saw the punch held Avila down until officers arrived.

“They had the guy pinned down, like two guys had one guy pinned down not letting him up,” Venancio said. "And there were just like ambulances and everything and we were like 'Woah what happened' and we looked closely and there was a guy over there on the floor.”

The victim was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, and Avila was arrested for felony assault and booked into San Diego County Jail.

Even though the attacker is in jail, Venancio says people in the area are still nervous.

“Hopefully he doesn’t come over here you know?” he said. "I mean, to knock someone out you got to hit them really hard."

Avila will be in court Wednesday afternoon.