Family pleads for justice after Lancaster man with stage 4 cancer dies in assault; 3 sought

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The family of a Lancaster man with stage 4 colon cancer who died after being sucker punched in Lancaster last week pleaded for justice Tuesday as three assailants remained on the loose.

Daniel Garcia, 53, was walking home after buying a soda at an ampm early July 8 when three unknown Black males approached him along the 200 block of East Avenue K. At least one of the assailants punched Garcia, who was knocked to the ground, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

He was taken to a hospital where he died.

“I’m going to miss you, dad. I’m not going to stop fighting for you,” the victim’s daughter, Ashley Garcia, said during a news conference held Tuesday at the scene of the crime.

She said her father was her best friend.

Garcia’s friend Fabian Torres said he was walking with the victim when the assault occurred. He indicated that a white car pulled up and at least one of the assailants hit Garcia.

“That was it,” Torres said.

He added that when he told the assailants he was going to call the police, they drove off.

“I held him,” Torres said of his friend. “I kept trying to wake him up, but he wouldn’t wake up.”

He described the ordeal as “real traumatizing.”

The motive behind the attack is unknown, but authorities said it is being investigated as a homicide.

“It’s not fair,” Lucinda Lopez, the mother of three of Garcia’s children, said several times. “He was very frail and didn’t deserve to go out that way.”

Just hours before Garcia was attacked, an 80-year-old grandfather was allegedly robbed and beaten at a different Lancaster store. Two suspects are in custody in that case.

The family of Roberto Flores Lopez were at Tuesday’s news conference showing support.

“We know exactly what they’re going through. It could have been us, we could have been burying my father,” Lopez’s daughter Cecilia Ramirez said Tuesday. “No one deserves to get hurt that way and die that way. He was a human being no matter what.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Garcia’s family with funeral expenses.

Family members hold up a poster remembering Daniel Garcia in a video posted to Facebook on July 13, 2020.
Family members hold up a poster remembering Daniel Garcia in a video posted to Facebook on July 13, 2020.

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