San Marcos assault suspect nabbed in Encinitas


A 32-year-old parolee suspected of brutally assaulting a San Marcos gas station convenience store clerk in an attack that was caught on surveillance video was arrested Oct. 7 in Encinitas.

Fredrick Cato of Carlsbad was spotted by San Diego County sheriff’s deputies about 4:30 p.m. as Cato and the same woman he was allegedly with at the time of the Sept. 28 San Marcos attack drove from a Walmart on Luecadia Boulevard, sheriff’s detective Reynaldo Dominguez said.

Earlier in their shift, the deputies had watched a Crime Stoppers video of the attack, during which the clerk was punched and then kicked in the head after he was down and unconscious, Dominguez continued.

The deputies pulled over the vehicle and arrested Cato on suspicion of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and violating his parole in connection with an unspecified conviction, according to Dominguez. Cato was booked into the Vista Detention Facility and the woman with Cato, who was recognized from the store surveillance video, was questioned and released.

The assault occurred about 8:15 p.m. at the Chevron gas station at 1200 W. San Marcos Blvd. The clerk, who was taken to a hospital, “suffered bruising and swelling to the right side of his face, a cut on the back of his head that required staples and bleeding inside of his skull on the left side of his brain,” according to a Crime Stoppers statement.

— City news service