Suspects Apprehended in Assault on Asian Couple

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Surveillance video shows police officers arresting suspect Tuvorius Mencer. (ABC7)

ONTARIO — Ontario police have arrested two men believed to be involved in an assault, which occurred at the Ontario Mills Mall.

On April 4 at 5:15 p.m., suspects Tuvorius Mencer and Terrell Plaines physically assaulted an Asian couple after having an exchange of words regarding social distancing while inside the Levi’s Outlet Store. During the incident, the suspects punched the victims multiple times, causing visible injuries.

Two additional victims were physically assaulted by the suspects when they attempted to intervene.

An Ontario police officer was also assaulted by Mencer while attempting to prevent him from fleeing. Mencer, a 34-year-old male from Hemet, was taken into custody at the scene and booked at the West Valley Detention Center on the charges of violation of civil rights, felony assault, and assault on a peace officer.

Plaines, a 31-year-old male from Hemet, fled from the scene and was arrested at his residence in the 1500 block of Calathea in Hemet on April 7. He was booked on the charge of violation of civil rights and felony assault.

In announcing the second arrest, Police Chief Mike Lorenz tweeted that “Hate will not be tolerated” in Ontario and praised the officers for “outstanding service protecting innocent victims.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Ontario Police Department at (909) 986-6711 or Detective Patrick Woolweaver at (909) 408-1705. Information can be reported anonymously by calling WE-TIP at 800-78-CRIME or online at www.wetip.com.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against Mencer and Plaines for battery.

Mencer has been charged with violating the following sections of the California Penal Code:

Penal Code Section 243(d) – Battery with serious bodily injury (felony). When a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.

Penal Code Section 242 – Battery (misdemeanor). A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. (Two counts)

Penal Code Section 243(c)(2) – Battery with injury on a peace officer (felony). When the battery specified in Paragraph (1) is committed against a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, including when the peace officer is in a police uniform and is concurrently performing the duties required of him or her as a peace officer while also employed in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security guard or patrolman and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the battery is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Plaines has been charged with two counts of battery.

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