LOS ANGELES - All three men believed seen on a freeway beating video were taken into custody – but for two separate incidents, according to California Highway Patrol.
Edras Ramirez, 27, and David Mendez, 21, turned themselves in Wednesday evening, officials said. They were booked for assault with a deadly weapon after a video appeared to show them beating unconscious Jerry Patterson, 50, a home mortgage consultant from Palmdale, Calif.
Though he appeared to lose the fight, Patterson is not in the clear, either. He was arrested today in the area of Altadena, Calif., on an outstanding warrant for another apparent road rage incident. He was wanted on a DUI and battery charge stemming from an alleged hit-and-run incident on May 25.
The traffic argument that turned into a videotaped fistfight occurred on June 12 in the middle of the 5 freeway on an interchange close to downtown Los Angeles.
The video, which has already garnered thousands of views on YouTube and other venues, was taken with a smartphone by a witness who just happened to drive by right as the altercation began to escalate.
The footage started with three men and Patterson arguing outside their cars, but the argument turned into a fistfight as one of the men and Patterson started swinging at each other.
Patterson seemed to be holding his own until another man joined the fight and pulled him to the ground. He was dragged and seemed to get kicked several times in the side of the head, then was left lying on the freeway as the men drove away.
“As I remember it, I’m trying to get away,” Patterson told KABC. “They followed me. It got to a point where they blocked me on the freeway. I couldn’t back up, couldn’t move forward and the guy got out of the car and I got out with him – I wasn’t going to let him walk up on me – and I just defended myself to the best of my ability.”
Long Beach, Calif., police said a someone also followed Patterson after an alleged hit-and-run incident at Corona Ave. and Toledo in Long Beach that did not cause injuries on May 25.
The person who followed Patterson, a witness to the accident, apparently made contact with him down the road, only to be assaulted by Patterson, according to police.
Officials charged Patterson with DUI and battery and issued a warrant for his arrest June 6 after he failed to appear in court. He was arrested on that warrant this morning, they said.
After the videotaped June 12 incident, Patterson refused medical attention and left the scene shortly after the altercation, officials said.
Despite suffering a concussion, Patterson told KABC that he didn’t want to press charges.
“I’m done with it, I’ve moved on,” he said. “The guys I grew up with used to beat me up worse than that, so it’s no big deal.”
Although Patterson may want to move on, authorities still wanted to make arrests and investigate into the event further.
“The two suspects that were in the video came forward and officers took both of them into custody on assault charges,” said CHP officer Chris Baldonado. “Even though the victim doesn’t want to press charges, we have enough probable cause and evidence that assault occurred. As long as enough evidence and probable cause we can go ahead with the investigation,”
Ramirez and Mendez were held on $60,000 bond. They are both due in court July 13 for arraignment on charges of felony assault.
When asked to reflect on the incident, Patterson said he would have reacted much differently.
“Twenty-20 hindsight – stay in the car, call authorities,” he said. “Don’t let your ego get in the way. It’s not worth it.”