FULLERTON – Three teens were booked Friday on suspicion of attacking a Fullerton College police officer who confronted them about trespassing on campus, police said.
The 53-year-old officer, who has worked for the college as a security officer for a dozen years, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries to his face, said Fullerton police Sgt. Ryan O’Neil.
Fullerton police were dispatched at 6:13 a.m. to the campus at 321 E. Chapman Ave., O’Neil said.
Two 18-year-old men and one 17-year-old male suspect allegedly attacked the security officer when he confronted them about trespassing on a bench next to the 200 building in the college quad, O’Neil said. The officer was punched and kicked and had his head stomped and eye gouged, O’Neil said.
During the melee, one of the suspects whipped a tomahawk-style ax out of his backpack and swung it at other security officers who responded to their co-worker’s call for help, O’Neil said. The teen failed to strike any of the officers, O’Neil said.
Elijah Balfe, 18, of Fullerton, was the first suspect who ran from the scene and was caught by officers, O’Neil said. Later, the 17-year-old suspect was rounded up at North Hornet Way and North Berkeley Avenue, and police found the axe on him, O’Neil said.
Police arrested 18-year-old Austin Valdovinos from Fullerton at a residence in the 200 block of North Berkeley about 7:30 a.m., O’Neil said. He was taken into custody after a brief standoff, according to O’Neil.
The three are not students at the college, the sergeant said. And there is no evidence at this time that they were motivated by race, politics or any other ideological reason, O’Neil said.
Valdovinos and Balfe were booked into the Fullerton City Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, O’Neil said. The 17-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, was taken to Orange County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, O’Neil said.