[UPDATED with Not Guilty Plea:] Mark Allen Vasquez Held in Violent Attack on U.S. Marine and Friend Outside Sutra Lounge

Categories: Crime-iny
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UPDATE, APRIL 6, 10:01 A.M.: 24-year-old Mark Allen Vasquez of Pico Rivera pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing Tuesday to various charges related to an incident outside Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa that left a U.S. Marine hospitalized in critical condition.

Vasquez faces felony charges of battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon other than a gun, as well as sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily harm and bodily injury resulting in a coma or paralysis.

The Marine, Alex Martinez, 21, of Long Beach, remains in critical condition at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

According to some of those leaving comments below to the original version of this post, it was Martinez who initiated the conflict with Vasquez. Police counter that Martinez tried to avoid a confrontation and was blindsided by Vasquez.

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ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 4, 2:08 P.M.: Walking to the Triangle Square parking structure in Costa Mesa after leaving Sutra Lounge early Friday, a U.S. Marine on leave from Hawaii and a friend were confronted by a group of men who hurled insults at them.

The Marine, Alex Martinez, and Victor Zavala, both 21 and from Long Beach, decided to avoid a confrontation by continuing to the parking structure's fourth level, where they awaited their ride home. But they were jumped, their heads striking the lot's concrete floor, rendering both unconscious.

"He tried to leave and take the high road," Costa Mesa Police Sergeant Jerry Souza later told The Orange County Register. "Basically, the guy blindsided him."

Martinez was listed this morning in critical condition at  Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. Zavala came to for paramedics who responded to the 2 a.m. call, but he refused a ride to the hospital, deciding to treat his injuries on his own.

However, Zavala stuck around long enough to help Costa Mesa police. A description of the car used by the attackers had been provided by one of those who called the cops about men being down in the parking structure. A car fitting that description was pulled over by officers responding to that call at Triangle Square, 1870 Harbor Blvd. 

Inside was 24-year-old Mark Allen Vasquez, whom Zavala would go on to identify as the man who had allegedly hit Martinez and participated in the assault on both of them. Vasquez was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with serious injury, held at Costa Mesa Jail and later booked into Orange County Jail. The Pico Rivera resident's bail was set at $25,000.

John Anthony Vela, 25, the Whittier driver of the car carrying Vasquez, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, booked into Costa Mesa Jail and released on a written promise to appear in court.

Police are still trying to nail down everything that happened in those early-morning hours. If you saw or know anything, contact Costa Mesa Police Detective Scott Stafford at (714) 754-5363 or Sergeant Ed Everett at (714) 754-5395.

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31 comments
Thecats74
Thecats74

Some people are absolutely disgusting! The people that are posting that they are happy about the marines getting beat up is messed up! Martinez is one wonderful man that got caught up in the wrong drunk scenario. The fact that people are bashing on him and glad that YOUR U.S. Marine was beat up is preposterous! He is serving for every single one of you who commented on this status! If you are bashing so hard on him than maybe you should go enlist in the marines and fight for our country since you are so much better than these fellow marines. All of you need to grow up and realize that no one deserves to be put through this nor do their families.

Axionsk8tr66
Axionsk8tr66

Those Marines were pussies... Two marines get knocked out by one person?? How can one person "blind-side" two people?

Mainez
Mainez

The writer is not ethically reporting this story. In your original post you shared that the police informed that they were suspecting that Vasquez blindsided the victim and that Martinez looked to avoid the fight. Then you read the posts at the bottom that share something different and make it seem as though you had contact with the police about the posts and that they countered them. I understand that you are part of a business, but it is not fair to do this to someone who's freedom might hang in the balance. You don't have all of the information, yet you are reporting this story in a very biased way.

Lostinthesauceceb
Lostinthesauceceb

So if the guy was innocent why did he run? people who know this guy of course are going to defend him but you have several witnesses that had nothing to do with the parties involved all say that this guy blindsided the kid. I'm not saying the story by the media is correct but the guy who was "there" and gave his side of the story doesn't sound completely legit. Sounds like he just went by what someone told him. Seems as there was 2 guys there, one who is accused of the beating and the other that was driving while drunk. So which one are are you? You just lost all credibility.

whiteb0y
whiteb0y

the marines fight for these shittier hoodlums freedom to go drink, drive, drink and drive and this is how you pay them back for defending your freedoms? deport these beans or atleast strip their citizenship

man who was there
man who was there

This fairy tale story made me literally lol. Being there last night and hearing what happen by a guy who was there. The story goes like this for those of you who are interested; While the two marines (whom were picking a fight with a gentlemen in the club) were face to face with one another. Mark passes by and says "why don't you kiss him" The Marines become upset and go towards Mark while Mark was peddling back and putting his hand out. The Marine pushes his hand away. Mark seeing there is no other option but to fight. Hits one Marine and he goes down. Then hits the other marine who also goes down.

Yeah he shouldn't have made a comment but they didnt have to pursue him like that. Both partys were looking for trouble....

guy
guy

its sucks how this story got flipped so that the marine could and his friend could be the victim. its awful that hes in critical condition i hope he ends up ok but the papers got this story all wrong nobody jumped anybody the marine was the guy who went up to the alleged attacker. and then the fight broke out

Steve
Steve

Probably arguing over club hoochie.

guest
guest

i have many things to say about this. zero of what i say would cause any change.

Clawy
Clawy

Matt-

Have you heard about a motive or was this a random drunken brawl. This is beyond disturbing.

libertylaw
libertylaw

Wow- I am amazed that the Costa Mesa police did anything about this- then again, I guess this was sort of a hot pursuit. They certainly don't investigate ANYTHING the day after unless it makes the news. Rapes, murders, assaults, burglaries... forget about it. Were they more interested in the DUI stop? Here to protect and serve my... They should all be replaced. Makes me sick.

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

I was not there. I reported first what police said. Then, I updated the post to report that the suspect pleaded not guilty and, in case anyone did not scroll down that far, some of those leaving comments have defended him. You're right, I don't have all the information, but I am sharing all the information I have received in hopes we'll eventually get to the truth. Sorry that's not good enough for you.

Mainez
Mainez

Apparently you don't know how to post and wanted to repost the same thing under a name that didn't say Martinez. Sorry your family member started something that he couldn't finish.

WhiteGirl
WhiteGirl

Haha this literally made me laugh out loud, you do realize that the poor marine is also hispanic right?? And so you know, neither of the "bad-guys" involved in this situation are immigrants. I'm a white girl, but you make white people look bad with your ignorance. All this was was a stupid drunken fight over some stupid words, there is nothing else to it.

Yardog
Yardog

This man is not a hoodlum!! He lives in a nice neighborhood and for your information Him and his family were born and raised right here in the USA. He is 4th generation to be here and his father, Uncles, cousins and Grandfather have fought and served for their country! Yes, this is a sad situtation. I pray for the young man in the hospital. You need to hear both sides before you say anything foolish.

Guest
Guest

It'd be better to deport trailer trash like you.

CHS
CHS

Wow, take away someone's citizenship for giving a Marine a beatdown? Look at it this way - perhaps we should give the Marine a dishonorable discharge for getting 2nd place in an ordinary street fight.

Martinez99
Martinez99

So if the guy was innocent why did he run? people who know this guy of course are going to defend him but you have several witnesses that had nothing to do with the parties involved all say that this guy blindsided the kid. I'm not saying the story by the media is correct but the guy who was "there" and gave his side of the story doesn't sound completely legit. Sounds like he just went by what someone told him. Seems as there was 2 guys there, one who is accused of the beating and the other that was driving while drunk. So which one are are you or which of your friends told you their side of the story? The one that beat the kid or the one was driving while under the influence?

Martinez99
Martinez99

Im sorry the only thing me and those put people have in common are last names before you start spouting off nonsense. I wasn't there so I can go by only the stories of both parties. If you weren't being so biased, you would be able to piece two and two together but I think that might be to difficult for you.

Mainez
Mainez

This is an unintelligent response. Why would you stay? If you've ever been in a fight or seen one, more often than not people call their friends to join and it ends up being a brawl. Plus, if there is a fight, both guys get into trouble for it. I'm sure we'll find out the story soon as there were most likely cameras in the parking structure. Should you be wrong, will you rescind your uneducated comments?

Random
Random

Is there ever a serious motive to a drunk street fight?? If this Marine wasn't in critical condition this would just be chopped up as a random street fight.. But since he is, it becomes so stupid story about TWO MARINES getting jumped by 1 guy?? C'mon now it was just a fight and the dude hit his head.

Mainez
Mainez

Perhaps the motive is that the Marine thought he was tough, but wasn't?

Martinez99
Martinez99

If he got attacked first then why not stay? It just made him look guilty dont you think? He defended himself dont you think? Uneducated comments? Im Just everyone else just trying to piece two and two together.

Random
Random

haha seriously, why the F*** would anyone stick around after a fight!? "Ok I just knocked him out, I should stick around and see if he's ok" And have you ever been to a club?? People do this thing called drinking so it's not crazy to imagine someone being under the influence while leaving a club

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