Man killed trying to save child from being beaten, attacker remains at large

Gabriel Ortega died nearly a month after saving a small child from being attacked in a Hollywood McDonald's.
By Matt Bradwell   |   July 25, 2014 at 5:37 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 25 (UPI) -- Police in Los Angeles are turning to the public to find a man suspected of causing the death of a 57-year-old who tried to prevent him from attacking a child.

At roughly 9:35 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, Gabriel Ortega noticed the alleged assailant screaming, clenching his fists and aggressively handling a small child in a McDonalds just off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

According to police, Ortega then threw himself between the child and the man "to shield [the child] from what appeared to be an imminent attack" before telling the man to leave.

The man left, but not before striking Ortega in the head, so hard that three days later Ortega checked himself into a local hospital because the pain had not subsided and he experienced headaches and vomiting.

Nearly a month later, on July 14, Ortega died from what the coroner's officer describes as "blunt force trauma."

Los Angeles police describe the suspect as dark-skinned man between 30 and 40 years old, but have no further description.

The attack occurred on Ortega's 57th birthday.

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