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Suspect in trolley station assault arrested

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LA MESA, Calif. -- A 17-year-old boy was facing charges Thursday in connection with an assault on a 52-year-old Navy veteran at a La Mesa trolley stop last month.

The boy was arrested on suspicion of assault involving great bodily injury around noon Wednesday at a residence in San Bernardino and has since been booked into Juvenile Hall, according to La Mesa police Lt. Angela DeSarro. His name was not immediately available.

Police did not disclose how the boy was identified as a suspect, but after the attack on June 13 at the transit depot in the 8200 block of La Mesa Boulevard, authorities circulated surveillance camera images showing the aggressor.

Surveillance photo released by authorities showed the victim exit a trolley and get jumped by an assailant. The suspect was seen punching him until he fell to the ground and then kicking him in the head, according to police. By the time officers arrived, the attacker had fled, DeSarro said.

The victim was treated for head and facial injuries at Alvarado Hospital and was later released, DeSarro said.

Police do not know why the victim was targeted.

The victim, Frank Cerasoli, told reporters he passed a young couple on his way to the trolley. The female half made a face at him and he made one back, which apparently prompted the teen to attack him from behind.

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