Man Suspected of Attacking Runner Near Otay Ranch Mall Arrested

Police said the suspect, 41-year-old Saul Serrano, admitted to confronting the runner and punching him

A man suspected of attacking a runner near Otay Ranch Mall was arrested Monday, Chula Vista police said.

Saul Serrano, 41, was arrested in connection with the assault that took place on Saturday and was booked into county jail, police said.

Scott Witcher, 24, had been exercising around 3 p.m. near the mall when police said he was nearly struck by an SUV in an intersection on Birch Road. 

Police said Serrano admitted to "cutting off the runner" and thought the runner threw something at his car. Serrano said he then stopped his car and got out before the runner flipped him off.

Serrano then admitted to punching the runner, police said. Witcher had initially told police the driver threw two punches before driving away. He was struck in the face and had to get a dozen stitches.

Police had taken a simple battery report on the incident and the suspect faces misdemeanor charges.

Serrano was identified after Witcher provided the license plate of the car from the incident, police said. Serrano was listed as the registered owner of the vehicle.

Witcher said he runs every day and has never had anyone jump out of a car and assault him.

"I was stunned," he said. 

"A 3,000-pound SUV versus a 200-pound man," he added. "It's not even a competition."

Witcher also thanked the passersby who stopped to help. 

"In today's society, you don't expect everyone to stop and help when something like that happens," Witcher told NBC 7 Sunday. 'Thank you to you guys if I can get in contact with you that'd be great. I'd like to thank you in person."

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