SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Randy McDonald is used to helping people. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, McDonald served as a medic.
So when the 62-year-old heard a woman screaming outside of the apartment building for veterans where he lives in Santa Ana, he wanted to help.
“She was screaming for about 20-30 minutes, and we were pretty much told to call the police,” he said. “But, you know, I was a medic, so I went down there to check on her to try to help her out.”
McDonald, who was homeless up until a few months ago, assumed the woman was homeless because of the three large bags she was carrying with her. He was concerned that she might be cold, so he invited her into the lobby of his apartment building.
He said after getting back inside, he called to get assistance for her, but she grew impatient.
“So I hung up, and I said, “OK, I’ll walk you out,'” he said. “And she asked me if I could help her get a motel room, and I said, ‘Honey, I just got off homelessness, I can’t afford that.'”
And that’s when McDonald said she started attacking him.
“She started punching me, like that, and she’s a big woman, you know,” he said. “And she just started punching.”
Cameras installed in the apartment complex captured the assault on the veteran.
“He was trying to help out of the goodness of his heart,” Sonia Rojo, an officer with the Santa Ana Police Department, said. “He’s concerned for her safety and goes out to help her and she just takes advantage of him and starts to hit him several times in the face.”
McDonald was able to block the punches until a passerby got between the two and the suspect walked away from the building.
“You do take a chance, anytime,” he said. “If I go into battle, or you’re a medic, you take that chance too.”
McDonald suffered minor injuries in the attack. Police are still searching for the suspect.