An fight early Sunday morning in the Gaslamp District left one man badly hurt and streets blocked for hours.
The incident happened just after 2 a.m. at G Street and Fourth Avenue, outside the IHop restaurant.
According to the San Diego Police Department, there was a large fight in the middle of the street. Officers discovered a man lying in the road, unconscious and with “significant head trauma.”
“It’s crazy. Things happen downtown but never to the point where somebody gets beaten severely to almost death,” said Kassandra Lopez, who works in the Gaslamp.
The victim was taken to a local hospital. At last update, he was listed in critical condition.
Medical and self-defense experts say fights like this can turn deadly.
“It does happen quite a bit in basic street fights where there no intent to do significant damage,” said Yury Sigal with Impact Krav Maga. "People really get hurt and actually potentially can die.”
“People need to understand, what you think is a soft blow may not be so soft inside the body and have a major impact on organs like the brain, the heart, organs that may bleed in the abdomen,” said Ted Mazer, M.D.
Sigal says a person's most vulnerable spots are the temples and the back of the head.
“You need to make sure your shoulders are up, chin is down. Don’t turn away from the attacker. Injuries happen when people get scared and they start turning away,” he said.
Police have not released the victim's name but say he is in his 20s.
At this point, no arrests have been made. Police are looking for a person-of-interest described as a white man between 25 and 30 years old, 5-foot-nine and 165 pounds, wearing a gray suit jacket and gray dress pants.
Police have not said what prompted the fight. SDPD’s Homicide Unit is investigating.
“The homicide unit is used for many different things including suspicious deaths or people that are seriously injured,” explained Lt. Mike Hastings with the Homicide Unit. “The reason that we’re utilized for that is that our work can be done with a team of detectives right up front. Therefore we don’t need to recreate the wheel should things go south or should someone end up being a decedent down the road.”