Corona Man Says He Was Assaulted at Bar After Being Mistaken for Child Predator

A Corona man says he fears going outside after being attacked Thursday at a bar in Norco by men who mistook him for the perpetrator in a child annoyance case.

Corona police have confirmed Kevin Martin is not the man who made sexual comments to an 11-year-old girl the morning of May 22.

Kevin Martin, left, appears in a photo released by the Corona Police Department. On the right is a composite sketch of a child annoyance suspect provided by the agency on May 23, 2019.

Kevin Martin, left, appears in a photo released by the Corona Police Department. On the right is a composite sketch of a child annoyance suspect provided by the agency on May 23, 2019.

When investigators released a computer-generated composite sketch of the suspect the day after the incident, Martin commented on a social media post from the department saying it looked like him and he wanted to clear himself, according to Sgt. Chad Fountain.

Detectives interviewed Martin and determined he wasn't the culprit. He was never considered a suspect, Fountain said.

But Thursday night, Martin says two men approached him outside Slick's bar in Norco's Hamner Square Shopping Center.

"He had his phone on him and he said, 'This is you, isn't it? We don't allow your kind here,' " Martin told KTLA. "The other guy starts pushing me and says, 'You know, I got a daughter.' "

Martin claims one of them told him, "I kill people like this," despite his insistence that it wasn't him.

The victim says he was strangled and punched at least 20 times.

Riverside County sheriff's officials said one person was arrested on suspicion of battery at the bar that night.

Martin is now recovering from his injuries at home.

Corona police, meanwhile, continue to search for the child annoyance suspect.

Officials say the man targeted the young student as she was walking near the corner of Curry Court and Parkview Drive, not far from Corona Ranch Elementary School.

The case is stagnant and investigators haven't received any new leads, Fountain said.

Police describe the perpetrator as a Latino man in his 20s with a thin build, black hair and brown eyes. He may have a golden retriever and has been seen in a blue vehicle with tinted windows, possibly a Toyota Prius hatchback.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Mark DeRuyter at 951-279-3574 or Mark.DeRuyter@CoronaCA.gov.

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