It took the persuasive work of at least one prominent local figure to convince two people involved in the robbery and assault of an 80-year-old man to do the right thing and turn themselves, authorities said.
The two suspects arrived at the station at 8 p.m. July 11 to confess to their crimes and are in custody, according to Lt. Jon Hoyt, of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
Investigators say Tamika White, 33, accompanied Damaris Wade, 22, as he allegedly assaulted Roberto Flores-Lopez in the bathroom of a Lancaster grocery store in the 1000 block of East Avenue J, near 10th Street, at 8:30 a.m. July 9. Wade has been charged with attempted murder, elder abuse with infliction of injury, as well as second-degree robbery. If convicted, Wade could face a potential 25-years-to-life prison sentence. White faces up to six years in state prison.
The assailant was wearing a black mask with a design of white fangs, authorities said.
Deputies had put up a wanted poster with pictures of the suspects on July 10.
“I think we have great ties with our community leaders,” Hoyt said. “This was a serious crime that was solved.”
“We would also like to share that family members of Mr. Wade met with the Flores-Lopez family last night,” said Ali Villalobos, with the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. “Both families call for unity within our community.”
Villalobos said deputies got a lot of support from Antelope Valley residents during the investigation.
Also in Lancaster, the family of a man with stage four cancer who died after being sucker punched last week pleaded for justice as three assailants remained on the loose.
Daniel Garcia, 53, was walking home after buying a soda at an AM/PM market early on July 8 when three unknown males approached him along the 200 block of East Avenue K. At least one of the assailants reportedly punched Garcia, who was knocked to the ground. He was taken to a hospital where he died.
“Crimes against our most vulnerable residents can stir up a lot of emotions,” Villalobos said. “Your actions in the last few days are reflective of the fantastic community we have.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Garcia’s family with funeral expenses. Authorities ask if you have any information regarding the assault that led to the death of Daniel Garcia, call the Lancaster Sheriff’s station at (661) 948-8466.