In the surveillance video, the 19-year-old victim sits on a Barrio Logan trolley bench scrolling on his phone, his feet resting casually on a skateboard, seemingly oblivious to the man standing in front of him.
But moments later, the man spins, winds up his right arm like a sinker-ball pitcher and strikes the skateboarder in the face before wrestling him to the ground. As the teen struggles with his attacker, a woman walks up and steals his backpack from the bench.
Authorities on Wednesday released the graphic surveillance footage, captured April 18 at the MTS trolley platform at 1910 Harbor Drive, hoping it will help them track down the suspects.
San Diego County Crime Stoppers also offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The violent robbery was unprovoked, came without warning and left the teen victim with several facial injuries, including cuts and a missing tooth, police said.
Following the attack, which happened between 7:30 and 8 p.m., the suspects were last seen walking northbound on Cesar Chavez Parkway.
Police described the man who punched the teen as a white or Hispanic man in his 20s, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet and with a medium build. He wore tan pants, a black t-shirt and a camouflage baseball hat, possibly adorned with the Peanuts cartoon character Snoopy. Police believe the suspect’s right hand — the one he used to punch the victim — may have been wrapped or bandaged.
The backpack thief was described as a white or Hispanic woman in her 20s, about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches and with a heavy build. She wore black leggings, a black shirt and a black Quicksilver baseball cap.
Anyone with information about the violent robbery was urged to call the San Diego Police Department’s central division at (619) 744-9527. Anonymous tipsters can also contact San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or online at sdcrimestoppers.org.