Salinas’ XL Grindhouse Owners Charged with Attempted Murder
November 21, 2012
The owners of an Oldtown Salinas burger joint have been charged with attempted murder in connection with the alleged beating of a homeless man who regularly loitered outside their restaurant.
Robert DeLeon, 43, and 32-year-old James DeLeon were booked into Monterey County Jail on one count of attempted murder related to the October incident.
According to Salinas Police Sgt. Chris Lane, a “concerned citizen” who had contact with the victim on Oct. 13 became concerned the man seemed injured and wasn't acting right, and then called the police.
“When the officer arrived, he also felt the victim was seriously hurt and called for medical personnel to evaluate the victim,” Lane said in a written release.
The victim told the officer and medical personnel he was beaten near the area of the XL Grindhouse Restaurant next to the National Steinbeck Center two days prior. The victim had noticeable injuries to his face and head.
The 55-year-old victim was taken to a local hospital, but his condition deteriorated and he fell into a coma due to what by police called serious head injuries. According to Salinas Police Commander Henry Gomez, the man has since woken up from the coma, but remains in the hospital.
The victim was eventually flown to a Bay Area hospital; he is currently still recovering in the bay area. According to information received by detectives, the suspects were angry with the victim for his continuous loitering around the restaurant.
While police have yet to release the victim's identity, a variety of Salinas business owners say the man goes by the street name "Orbitz." The tall, African-American man has been on the Salinas streets for a number of years; several merchants or store workers who know him say he is a Vietnam Veteran and "harmless."
"He never bothered anyone," one merchant said. "He was completely chill."
There was no immediate information on whether the DeLeon brothers had posted bail, or when they would be arraigned. There apparently are at least six witnesses to the attack, in which at least one of the brothers is said to have used an aluminum baseball bat.
Editor Mary Duan contributed to this report.