A man who resembles the police sketch of a possible child predator was soundly beaten outside a California bar and is using his horrific experience to urge people not to take justice into their own hands.
A drunk man accosted Kevin Martin, 34, at a bar in Corona in Riverside County, where he was playing pool Thursday, asking him to step outside to speak, Martin told CNN.
Once the two got outside, another man flashed a cellphone image of the sketch, accusing Martin of being the man who allegedly made sexual comments of some sort to an 11-year-old girl in May.
He said, ‘That’s you isn’t it?’ ” Martin told NBC Los Angeles affiliate KNBC. “And I go, ‘No, that’s not me.’ ”
Sensing things were about to get ugly, “I called 911, I put the phone in my pocket, and they heard everything,” Martin told KNBC.
You know, I’ve got a daughter,” one of the men said. “I kill people like you.”
One man put his hands around Martin’s throat, he recounted. Martin ran away but the man caught up with him and started pummeling him, as Martin pleaded for his life.
“I could have died that night,” Martin told KTLA-TV. “One of them could have had a gun or knife.”
Witnesses scared the assailant off, and soon afterward police arrested Chris Ralph Arispe, 44, on suspicion of battery, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department told KNBC.
Martin, a meteorologist, broadcast a video message about the incident to his 70,000 social media followers.
The man who allegedly made the comments is suspected of child annoyance, police told KTLA. Soon after the May incident, police released the composite sketch. Martin saw the resemblance, called police and was interviewed. He was cleared, as NBC Los Angeles and other outlets confirmed.