Assault charges were filed Tuesday against a 369-pound man accused of unprovoked assaults on two women, including a single mother attacked at a gas station near Gardena, but criminal proceedings were quickly put on hold after a defense attorney expressed doubt about the defendant’s mental competency.
The case against 37-year-old Antoine Larue Rainey was sent from the Compton courthouse to the Mental Health Courthouse in Hollywood.
A July 6 status conference is set in Compton for Rainey, who is charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
The Long Beach resident is accused of approaching a woman at a gas station pump May 30 in unincorporated West Rancho Dominguez and punching her without provocation, knocking her to the ground. He then allegedly continued to punch her in the head and face and kicked her in the back multiple times, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Video footage also showed several men approach the shirtless suspect while the woman was still on the ground at the Sinclair gas station in the 500 block of Rosecrans Avenue, near Figueroa Street. One touched the assailant’s arm before he walked calmly back to his SUV, which he had parked directly in front of the victim’s Honda, and drove away.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries to her face and head, then released to recuperate at home, according to Deputy Grace Medrano of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. The woman, who has an 8-year-old daughter, said in a broadcast interview that she feels lucky to be alive and is fearful of leaving her home and returning to work since the attack.
A day earlier, Rainey allegedly abruptly stopped his vehicle at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Avalon Boulevard, in West Rancho Dominguez, approached the car behind him, opened the vehicle’s door and punched the female motorist several times, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The 63-year-old woman came forward to allege that she was attacked by the same suspect after video of the gas station beating was released, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“These types of unprovoked attacks are especially egregious and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges.
Rainey was arrested last Friday after being turned in by his mother, who saw footage of the attack aired on a newscast, according to ABC7, which reported that Rainey is schizophrenic and wasn’t taking his medication. Channel 7 also reported that he has a criminal history and was on parole at the time.