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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Breaking News: Campus Safety officer assaulted in the quad

Fullerton Police department arrested three teen suspects after a reported assault occurred towards a Fullerton College safety employee involving an axe.
Edwin Flores
Three male teens were arrested after 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 for allegedly assaulting a Campus Safety officer on campus near Cruz Reynoso Hall. A tomahawk axe was found on one of the alleged assailants.

A Fullerton College Campus Safety officer was transported to the hospital after three suspected teenagers physically assaulted him on Friday, Oct. 13, around 6:13 a.m. The three suspects were detained, as reported in a press release from the Fullerton Police Department.

Fullerton PD reported that the suspects were next to Building 200 (Cruz Reynoso Hall) on a bench. When the campus safety officer arrived, they immediately started attacking him. “The Safety Officer was punched, kicked, head stomped, and eye gouged by the suspects,” wrote Interim Chief of Fullerton PD, John Radus via Fullerton PD’s press release.

During the assault, the safety officer requested for help over the radio. When the other safety officers arrived on scene, it is reported that one suspect took a tomahawk style axe from his backpack and swung it at the safety officers. None of the officers were struck with the axe according to Fullerton PD.

One suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Elijah Balfe, a Fullerton resident. Balfe was detained by Fullerton College Safety officers at the time of the assault. The other two male teens fled the scene on foot northbound through campus, as reported by Fullerton PD.

Based on the given description by the campus safety officers, Fullerton PD was able to detain one of the suspects, a 17-year-old, found on North Berkeley Avenue and North Hornet Way. After being taken into custody, they found a tomahawk axe on his person.

At around 7:32 a.m. the final missing suspect, 18-year-old Austin Valdevinos, was found at a residence on the 200 block of N. Berkeley Ave. and taken into custody.

“Valdevinos and Balfe were booked into the Fullerton City Jail for assault with a deadly weapon,” reported Fullerton PD in their press release. “The 17-year-old male juvenile was later transported to Orange County Juvenile Hall for assault with a deadly weapon.”

The Fullerton PD said that the Campus officer that was attacked is a 53-year-old male who has been an employee for 12 years at FC’s Safety Department. He was transported to a local hospital with non-deadly injuries to his face.

“There is no evidence that this incident was driven by any racial, political or ideological motives,” reported Fullerton PD.

Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo sent a Campus Safety report at 12:16p.m. via email to the Fullerton College community, informing all Hornets about this incident.

“I also was able to work very closely with the Fullerton Police Department all morning,” said Olivo to The Hornet. “Together, we were able to make sure there was no threat to campus or public safety [after the incident].”

In her Message from the President, Olivo reminded the Hornet community to always practice safety measures on campus, and thanked the Campus Safety officers and the Fullerton Police Department for their timely response to this incident.

We will continue to update this story as more information is released.

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About the Contributor
Pedro Saravia, News Editor
Pedro Saravia is the News Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. He previously wrote for Inside Fullerton magazine. Pedro is a JACC award winning journalist for his work investigating Title IX issues at Fullerton College. Pedro enjoys going to the gym, playing and watching soccer, and hanging with his brother. He aspires to be a politics and sports reporter.

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    Fred FredOct 15, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Good job, Mr. Saravia.