Santa Ana Nightclub Beating Victim Dies; 1 Arrested

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A 23-year-old woman who was brutally beaten by five people outside a Santa Ana nightclub died Tuesday afternoon after being taken off life support, according to police.


Kim Pham’s loved ones put together a makeshift memorial near where she was assaulted, Santa Ana, Jan. 21, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The violent assault happened just before 12:30 a.m. Saturday near The Crosby, located in the 400 block of North Broadway in downtown Santa Ana, authorities said.

The victim, Kim Pham, was with friends, waiting to get inside The Crosby when an argument broke out with another group of people.

“The victim was kicked about her body and her head, and that’s when she went unconscious,” said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the department.

She died at 12:36 p.m. Tuesday, the Santa Ana Police Department announced Tuesday evening.

An unidentified female suspect was arrested Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm, police said.

Santa Ana police made the arrest after issuing a plea for witnesses to come forward with information about the assault.


The assault occurred outside The Crosby nightclub, Santa Ana, Jan. 18, 2014. (Credit: On Scene TV)

Police were still looking for two more men and two other women in connection with the attack, authorities said.

Investigators believe witnesses recorded and took photos of the assault, and they asked for members of the public to provide documentation from that night.

The Crosby was assisting investigators and has posted a message on its Facebook page urging witnesses to contact authorities.

A friend of Pham told the Los Angeles Times that the attackers had gotten into an argument with Pham after she accidentally walked into the frame of a photo they were posing for. One of the attackers’ cellphones was recovered from the scene, the friend told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Pham’s loved ones held a vigil Monday evening near a makeshift memorial of flowers, crosses and candles steps away from where she was attacked.

Pham’s sister, Katie Nguyen, also posted a series of messages on Facebook with updates on the young woman’s condition.


Friends left a note about Pham on an electrical box near where the assault happened, Santa Ana, Jan. 20, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

“The doctors all confirmed that Kim’s brain dead,” Nguyen wrote Sunday.

She followed it up with the message, “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers now more than anything.”

A day later Nguyen wrote, “Kim is currently on life support because her wishes had always been to help others by being an organ donor.”

Two separate sites had been set up to collect funds for legal fees that Pham’s family may see. One was on and another was on, where organizer Benjamin Spades said Pham’s family had agreed to accept money from him after initial reluctance.

“In this moment of sadness, the last thing I want them to think about is money,” Spades wrote.


Kim Pham shown in a photo posted to a fundraiser for her family’s potential legal costs.

His site included YouTube video showing Pham in 2011 discussing a story she wrote about “finding love from a tough place” for a volume called “Pho for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts.”

One of Pham’s friends told KTLA she recently graduated from Chapman University and wanted to be a journalist.

Anyone with information on the assault was asked to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-245-839. You can also call OC Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.