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Suspects, Victim In Fight On 5 Freeway Arrested

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two men who were captured on tape assaulting another driver on the 5 Freeway outside of downtown Los Angeles surrendered to authorities on Thursday, while the so-called victim was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports David Mendez, 21, and Edras Ramirez, 27, turned themselves in to the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday evening, according to CHP officials.

Mendez and Ramirez were wanted in connection with the apparent road-rage beating on June 12 of Jerry Patterson, on the Golden State (5) Freeway near downtown Los Angeles, an altercation that was caught on camera.

They were both arrested and booked into the Men’s Central Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Patterson, 50, said the incident began when he accidentally cut off a car on the 710 Freeway in Long Beach. The suspects then followed and blocked his car where the fight took place in Boyle Heights.

Patterson was arrested just before noon on Thursday as a result of a warrant issued in Long Beach, Officer Saul Gomez of the California Highway Patrol said.

“The warrant stems from an incident on May 25 at the intersection of Corona (Avenue) and The Toledo,” Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department said. “A hit-and-run collision occurred, and the driver fled the scene. He was followed by a witness to another location.” The warrant also mentioned battery and DUI.

Authorities have not decided whether charges are warranted against Patterson for the June 12 incident, and the case remains under investigation, according to the CHP.

An arraignment for Mendez and Ramirez is set for Friday.

Reporting from Palmdale, where Patterson lives, Amanda Burden spoke to neighbors who could not believe the man they know was involved in yet another street brawl.

Witness Jim Poole said he saw Patterson hit “at least two cars” on May 25th. He says he followed Patterson and he said that’s when he started throwing punches.

That clash was also caught on camera. Says Poole, “He hit me with my helmet on. He got his fist in. I had my sunglasses on and he broke those.”

Neighbor Jon Kelley said he doesn’t know Patterson to be a violent type. “I see him out here on weekends playing with his grandkids.”

CBS2/KCAL9 Legal analyst Steve Meister says Patterson will be in hot water when it comes to these cases. “If they find out now that he’s on the freeway fighting with other people, whether it’s real or not, he’s not going to get a lot of sympathy from prosecutors.”

Faked? Not according to Emeal Age who shot the video on June 12th. “There was no staging involved. I pulled up, those were real punches. That was the real deal. Not fake.”

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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