A 34-year-old man pleaded guilty Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to eight years in prison for severely beating a wheelchair-dependent man with cerebral palsy outside a Santa Ana fast-food restaurant.

Vittorio Ronald Froncillo pleaded guilty to attempted murder and admitted sentencing enhancements for inflicting injury on an elder or dependant and causing great bodily injury that led a victim to be comatose or paralyzed, according to court records. As part of the plea bargain, sentencing enhancements for attempted premeditated murder and committing a secondary offense while out on bail were dismissed.

The victim, who was 63 at the time of the attack and lived in a group home, appeared to be minding his own business when he was attacked March 10 of last year, Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney said when he filed charges.

The victim, whose name was withheld, enjoys taking a bus to the McDonald’s restaurant at 3810 S. Bristol St. on Saturdays and Sundays to drink coffee and do some “people watching,” said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

About 7 a.m. the day of the attack, a witness called police to report the victim was being beaten and bleeding heavily from the head, Bertagna said. The witness intervened to stop the attack and the suspect ran away, but police soon caught up with him and chased him down on foot, Bertagna said.

He said the victim was hooked up to life support machines and was in extremely critical condition after the attack.

At the time of the attack, Froncillo was out on bail on a felony count of stealing a vehicle on March 1 of last year.

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