A San Bernardino County prosecutor in the midst of a gang-murder trial was attacked and beaten into unconsciousness Thursday while on a morning jog in Bob Henry Park in Newport Beach, and investigators were working to determine if the assault was related to her job.
The woman was attacked at about 5:50 a.m. near 16th Street and Dover Drive, according to Jennifer Manzella of the Newport Beach Police Department.
The prosecutor was unable to describe her attacker other than to say it was a man, Manzella said.
Manzella said the woman was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana. She suffered a cut to the head but she was not sexually assaulted or robbed, Manzella said.
A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told City News Service the victim was about to give her closing argument in a gang-murder trial and may have been targeted by gang members.
“She’s been followed before,” the source said.
Christopher Lee, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, confirmed that “a member of our office was involved in an incident this morning, which is currently under investigation.” He declined to comment further.
The woman, barely able to walk, managed to stumble into a nearby gym after the attack, and she was covered in blood, witness Ron Cary told KCAL9.
“Not a little blood. Covered in blood, like a bucket of blood was poured over her,” Cary told the station.
“She was in shock, she was frantic,” Cary said. “She was all over the place, rambling. Her main concern was, `Are they here, are they here? Are they on their way, are they on their way? … And then the word `attack’ came out.”
Cary said he heard the woman tell arriving officers that she is a deputy district attorney in the Inland Empire.
“She said, `I’m in the middle of a murder trial. I’m on a murder trial and I was attacked from behind. Was I raped?’ — because she was unconscious,” Cary told Channel 9.
Manzella said police are investigating if the woman’s work as a prosecutors may have contributed to the crime.
Another witness told KCAL9 he saw a man on a bicycle following the woman before the attack.
–City News Service