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Suspect arrested in attack on blind man at Anaheim mini market

November 28, 2009 | 12:41 pm

Police arrested a 23-year-old man who attacked a blind man inside an Anaheim convenience store, officials said today.

Taufa Vaioleti was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim Police Department.

The attack was reported about 8:10 a.m. Friday at the AM/PM convenience store near Ball Road and Brookhurst Street, he said. The victim, a 44-year-old man who is legally blind, told officers he had knocked on the store's bathroom door as a courtesy, but a man inside the bathroom became angry and started arguing with him.

Shortly after returning to his car, the man who was in the bathroom told his cousin, Vaioleti, that the victim used a racial slur during the argument, Martinez said.

Vaioleti stormed into the store, threw a beer can at the man's right eye, then began to beat him, Martinez said. "People in the store were telling him that the man was blind, but that did not stop Vaioleti from beating him," he said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was treated by paramedics for a cut on his eye and was released. He declined to be hospitalized, Martinez said.

After the attack, police said Vaioleti left the store in a gold Ford Taurus, but police tracked down the car and arrested him as he was arriving at a home along the 1200 block of Alamo Street about two hours later. Police also suspect he was driving under the influence of alcohol, Martinez said.

--Ruben Vives