The Irvine Police Department (IPD) arrested 23-year-old Keven Quiroz for the assault of a 69-year-old man in Irvine on March 25. Quiroz was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.
The attack, caught on surveillance video, occurred at Sierra Vista Middle School on March 19.
The video captured Quiroz jogging with his dog off a leash and playing with a soccer ball, while the victim was nearby with his own dog on a leash. Quiroz’s dog allegedly approached the victim in an aggressive manner. To avoid conflict, the victim picked up his dog.
The victim then reportedly lost control of his dog’s leash, leading to the two dogs fighting. While attempting to protect his dog, Quiroz intervened and “struck [the victim] in the head from behind,” IPD said in a press release. “The suspect left the area with the dog and the victim was ultimately taken to the hospital for treatment.”
After releasing the surveillance video and photographs of the incident, IPD received an anonymous tip that led to the identification and arrest of Quiroz.
Quiroz’s arrest was aided by hashtags, such as #StopAAPIHate and #StopAsianHate, that circulated on Twitter. During that time, it had not yet been determined whether ethnicity was a factor in the assault. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have frequently become victims of hate crimes in the U.S., leading to a growing movement denouncing these statistics.
“IPD detectives located Quiroz at his apartment in the City of Tustin. Evidence linking him to the assault was recovered at his residence,” IPD said in an updated press release shared via Twitter.
Quiroz was charged for the assault and taken to the Orange County Jail on March 25.
Upon searching Quiroz’s vehicle, detectives found he was in possession of an unloaded rifle. While it was deemed unrelated to the case, the IPD said that additional weapons charges may be applied if Quiroz did not have lawful possession of the rifle.
“Based on the totality of the investigation, IPD detectives believe the assault followed a dispute over the suspect’s dog being off leash,” the IPD said in the updated press release on March 25. “It does not appear the ethnicity of the victim was a factor in the assault.”
Liliana Huerta is a Staff Writer for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.