CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Police are searching for a driver accused of punching a runner during a confrontation near the Otay Ranch Town Center over the weekend.
Scott Witcher told 10News he was running on Birch Road at about 3 p.m. Saturday when the incident occurred.
“It was a green light and I was crossing the street near the Best Buy and PF Chang’s when this SUV made a right turn and almost hit me,” Witcher said.
Witcher said he was in the crosswalk when he turned around, threw his hands up and gave a middle finger towards the driver -- a gesture what Witcher admitted he “probably shouldn’t have done.”
Witcher continued to run, but to his surprise, the SUV’s driver caught up to him on the sidewalk. Witcher said the man “sucker-punched” him twice in the face and then ran back to his vehicle.
"He jumped out [of his SUV] and said something ... I didn't really hear what he said, but I mentioned, 'You cut me off.' Before I could finish my sentence, it was two left hands to the face," said Witcher.
Witcher said he recalled hearing a female passenger in the SUV yelling out “What are you doing?” as the incident quickly unfolded. He also said he saw a child in the vehicle at the time.
Witcher told 10News he was able to get the SUV’s license plate number, but a passerby who came to check on him also tried to pursue the SUV as it left the scene.
According to Witcher, he and the passerby spoke to Chula Vista police and a report on the incident was filed.
The injuries to Witcher’s face required 10 to 12 stitches.
Witcher described the driver as possibly African-American in his mid-30s, 6 feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds.
Witcher said police told him they would check any surveillance cameras in the area as part of the investigation.
Witcher told 10News said he would continue to run in the area despite what happened to him.
10News reached out to Chula Vista police for an update on the search for the driver, but they have not provided any additional information as of 1 p.m. Monday.