Prosecutors filed additional felony charges Monday against a probationer accused of robberies and beatings in Fullerton and Buena Park.
Kenneth Heimlich III of Placentia, 33, pleaded not guilty June 14 in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana to one felony count each of second-degree robbery and battery with serious bodily injury and two counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, along with a misdemeanor count of battery on a peace officer, in connection with the Fullerton attack that occurred June 12.
On Monday, prosecutors added charges of attempted murder, robbery and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, all felonies. He also faces sentencing enhancement allegations of causing great bodily injury, leaving a victim comatose or paralyzed and inflicting great bodily injury.
He faces up to 19 years and eight months behind bars if convicted at trial.
Heimlich’s arraignment was rescheduled for July 8 in the North Justice Center in Fullerton. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
A June 12 attack at a bus stop at Beach Boulevard and Orangethorpe Avenue in Buena Park — captured on a bus-mounted dashcam — left the 65-year-old victim unconscious, according to Buena Park Police Sgt. Mike Lovchik, who said the man remained hospitalized and had not regained consciousness.
“Witnesses tell us that the suspect and victim were involved in some sort of a verbal altercation prior to the physical assault,” Lovchik said on June 14. “The suspect pushed the victim to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stomped him in the head, knocking him unconscious.”
The two had been riding on the same bus before the argument, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Heimlich allegedly stole the victim’s bike, but it was not clear what motivated the attack, Lovchik said.
“We don’t know if the original intent was to steal the bike,” the sergeant said.
Heimlich allegedly left the scene and ended up at the Fullerton Transportation Center, where he is accused of committing a similar type of assault at about 10 a.m., Lovchik said. The alleged assault happened at a bus depot at 123 E. Santa Fe, according to prosecutors.
A 56-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, who tried to intercede, were injured in the conflict with Heimlich, prosecutors said. Heimlich is accused of taking $47 from the victim’s wallet, prosecutors said.
The man had since been released from a hospital.
Heimlich was arrested at the scene, but Fullerton investigators were unaware of the Buena Park attack until Thursday night and determined the same suspect was involved, Lovchik said.
Video of the Buena Park beating was captured by the dashcam of an Orange County Transportation Authority bus. Buena Park police released the graphic surveillance video in hopes of generating tips.
Heimlich was accused of filing a false police report with Brea in September 2012, according to a probation department report. He falsely claimed someone in an SUV pointed a gun at him, and when officers arrived to investigate the report they recognized him as having a “pattern or history of fighting with police officers,” according to a probation report.
He told authorities that he was on medication for bipolar disorder and that he said medical marijuana was the only drug that helped, according to court records. His mother told authorities that he had been diagnosed with bipolar-schizophrenia and was “self medicating,” according to court records.
Heimlich’s landlady at the time told investigators that he was “out of control” and she wanted to evict him because he was “having spats of rage, throwing things and intimidating everyone in the house,” according to the probation report.
When he was told he would have to move he said he would, “Turn the house into an ash tray,” the landlady told authorities, according to the probation report.
Heimlich was on probation following a guilty plea for misdemeanor disturbing the peace for fighting on May 4, 2017, according to court records. As part of that plea deal, misdemeanor counts of assault and battery were dropped.
He has a lengthy criminal history dating back several years, according to court records. In many cases he had felony charges reduced to misdemeanors.
Heimlich pleaded guilty Jan. 2, 2018, to misdemeanor vandalism for damaging an Orange County Jail cell door on April 21, 2017. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: