Video shows woman accused of assaulting O.C. veteran who said he was trying to help her

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Police on Wednesday asked for help finding a woman who they say was seen on video assaulting a veteran outside his apartment complex in Santa Ana.

The incident took place just after 8 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the 3000 block of West First Street, according to a Santa Ana Police Department news release.

Santa Ana police released this photo of a woman they have identified as a suspect.
Santa Ana police released this photo of a woman they have identified as a suspect.

It began when a woman started yelling and screaming outside the complex, which was built to house formerly homeless veterans, according to police and the victim, Randy McDonald.

From his third floor unit, McDonald heard the commotion and went down to help. He explained that he had served as a medic in the Air Force from late 1970s to the early 1980s and felt he would be able to assist. So he went down to talk to her.

“Because no one else is doing it. I thought by the cops, the time they got here, it might be too late, cause I didn’t know what the situation was. I didn’t know if there was another person out here assaulting her,” McDonald told KTLA. “I just did my job as a veteran.”

He let the woman in the lobby and even tried to make some phone calls on her behalf before they went back outside. McDonald thought the woman may have been homeless.

But, the veteran said, things changed when she asked him for money for a hotel room. He explained to the woman that he had just gotten off the streets himself in June after being homeless for most of the past decade and didn’t have that kind of money to help her.

That’s when she attacked him, McDonald said.

She grabbed him by the shirt and began punching him, hitting him multiple times in the face and head, according to the news release.

The woman then walked away. But the attack was captured on surveillance video, which was just released by police.

“Her violent tendencies is what — it scares our detectives. Our detectives are looking for her, looking for someone that might be able to identify her,” Santa Ana Officer Sonia Rojo said.

She’s described by police as Black, about 20 to 30 years old, around 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and heavy set. She was wearing a pink jacket and tan leggings.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Cpl. Angel at 714-245-8404 or email

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