COMPTON (CBSLA) — A man accused of unprovoked assaults on two women, including a single mother attacked at a Gardena gas station, was formally charged Tuesday with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
However, criminal proceedings were quickly put on hold after an attorney for the suspect, 37-year-old Antoine Larue Rainey, expressed doubt about Rainey’s mental competency.READ MORE: Southland Residents Receiving Unemployment Insurance Must Actively Seek Work As Of July 11 In Order To Keep Benefits
The Long Beach resident is accused of attacking a woman May 30 at the Sinclair Gas Station at Rosecrans and Avalon in Gardena. She had just started pumping gas into her vehicle when security video shows a man driving into the parking lot and parking directly in front of her.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said the man calmly got out of his vehicle, walked toward the woman and punched her without any warning or provocation. She fell to the ground, and the man punched her again repeatedly in the head and face, grabbed her hair, and slammed her head against the vehicle and onto the ground several times, authorities said.
After the assault, the man calmly walked back to his SUV, got in, and drove away. Gas station employees said the man was actually a regular customer, showing up daily to buy coffee and cigarettes.
The woman was treated at a hospital for severe injuries to her head and face, and was said to be recovering at home, though she was still struggling with the trauma of the attack.
Rainey is also accused of attacking a 63-year-old woman in her car in the same area the day before, according to investigators.READ MORE: Documented Gang Member, Marquise Gardon, Charged In Beverly Hills Robbery Pleads Not Guilty
“These types of unprovoked attacks are especially egregious and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
During the brief proceedings, it was revealed that Rainey’s mother, Sheila Creswell, turned him in after seeing the video of the May 30 attack at the gas station on CBS2.
Creswell said her son has severe mental problems and that she turned him in hoping that he would get the help he needs.
“As a mother, my heart goes out to the victims that was involved, and I’m praying for them,” she said. “I pray for them more than I pray for myself, and I’m praying for my son that he gets the help that he needs.”
A July 6 status conference has been set, and his bail has been raised to $50,000.MORE NEWS: LA Public Library System To Reopen 20 Additional Library Branches On June 21
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