Deputies are reviewing a cell phone video of the incident provided by witness Luke Cunningham, who said he captured what he describes as a “senseless crime” around 1 a.m. at the Hollywood and Vine Metro Red Line station after noticing a dispute break out between the victim, who he believes to be homeless, and another man.
The footage shows an older man in a dark-colored jacket, standing near the edge of the platform, exchanging words with a younger man. Seemingly unprovoked, the younger man deals a punch in the head to the older man, who then falls to the ground near the tracks.
Cunningham alleges the attack continued with the assailant kicking the victim in the mouth as he lay on the ground.
“You can’t see in the video but then he kicked him in the face while he was down,” Cunningham told KTLA. “I followed the guy and he had no teeth in his mouth. He had his teeth knocked out and he was bleeding all over the place.”
The attacker was accompanied by two other men, and all three left before paramedics or law enforcement arrived, as did the victim, according to Cunningham. But several others were witness to the crime, he added.
Investigators are reviewing the cell phone recording and pulling platform video to get a better idea of what may have sparked the crime, according to LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Ramon Montenegro.
“You can see some verbal exchange, not sure if it was a verbal altercation,” he said in a statement. “But whatever it was it didn’t warrant an assault because it didn’t appear the victim was a threat to the other gentleman.”