On October 13, 2023 at 6:13 am, Fullerton Police Officers were dispatched to 321 E. Chapman Ave. regarding a disturbance of the peace. The reporting party advised dispatch that a Fullerton College Campus Safety Officer was injured after an altercation, on campus, involving three suspects. Fullerton Police Officers arrived on scene within three minutes of the call for assistance.
Upon Officers’ arrival, Campus Safety told them that they located three suspects in the quad next to the 200 Building trespassing on a bench. When the lone Fullerton College Safety Officer contacted the suspects, they immediately began to attack him.
During the assault, the Safety Officer was punched, kicked, head stomped, and eye gouged by the suspects. The Safety Officer was however able to radio for assistance.
As other Safety Officers arrived on scene to help, one of the males removed a tomahawk style axe from his backpack and swung it at the Safety Officers. None of the Safety Officers were struck with the axe.
The Safety Officers on scene were able to detain one of the males, later identified as 18-year-old Elijah Balfe, a resident of Fullerton. As the Safety Officers detained Balfe, the other two male subjects fled on foot northbound through the campus.
Fullerton Police Officers, based on the description given, later located a 17-year-old male suspect at N. Hornet Way and N. Berkeley Ave. As officers attempted to contact him, he fled from them on foot. After a short foot pursuit, he was taken into custody without incident.
Police Officers located a tomahawk axe on his person, and he was later identified as a 17-year-old male resident of Fullerton.
Officers on scene identified the third suspect, later identified as 18-year-old male Austin Valdovinos from Fullerton. Valdovinos was located at a residence in the 200 block of N. Berkeley Ave. at approximately 7:32 am. After a brief standoff, Valdovinos was taken into custody without incident.
At this point in the investigation, there is no evidence to indicate that this incident was driven by any racial, political, or ideological motives. There are no outstanding threats related to this incident.
Valdovinos and Balfe were booked into the Fullerton City Jail for assault with a deadly weapon. The 17-year-old male juvenile was later transported to Orange County Juvenile Hall for assault with a deadly weapon.
The victim, a 53-year-old male, has been employed with Fullerton College Campus Safety for 12 years. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life sustaining injuries to his face from the unprovoked attack.
We have been in contact with our partners at Fullerton College, who will be providing an incident update to their campus community.