Man Killed After Saving Child From Attack at Hollywood Fast Food Restaurant; Assailant Sought

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Gabriel Ortega Jr. is shown in a photo provided by LAPD. He died July 14, 2014, nearly a month after being hit in the head at a Hollywood McDonald’s.

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Homicide detectives were asking for the public's help in locating the person responsible for fatally attacking a man who came to the aid of a child at a fast food restaurant in Hollywood, police said.

Gabriel Alverez Ortega Jr., 57, was inside a restaurant located in the 1400 block of Vine Street on the night of June 18 when he saw a man yelling at a small child. The man also had his fists clenched and was walking toward the child, a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department stated.

Sensing the man was about to attack the child, Ortega stood in front of the child and acted as a shield. He then told the man to leave the child alone.

The man responded by walking up to Ortega and punching him before he fled the restaurant, according to LAPD.

Ortega initially checked into a local hospital for injuries three days after the incident, the release said. He died almost a month later on July 14.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office on July 23 determined that Ortega had died from blunt force trauma.

Police described the attacker as a 30 to 40-year-old African-American male, but had no further description, according to the release.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call homicide detectives Jose Robledo or Fernando Rivas at -213-382-9470 or, during nonbusiness hours and on weekends, 877-527-3247.

Those who would like to leave tips anonymously may do so by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, texting a message beginning with the letters "LAPD" to  274637, or through the website

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