A 28-year-old man remains hospitalized more than three weeks after he was randomly attacked and knocked to the ground outside the In-N-Out in Palms, and his family renewed pleas for the perpetrator's apprehension on Monday.
The victim's cousin, Sara Robles, said the blow he was dealt that night for no apparent reason has proved life-altering. Since the June 30 incident, he's undergone two brain surgeries and still requires the use of a feeding tube, though his breathing tube was removed over the weekend, she said.
"The only word that doctors and his mom have heard him say was 'mom,' but everything else is just mumbo jumbo," Robles said. "Just thinking about it, it's hard, because he's never going to be the same again."
Surveillance video released by Los Angeles police shows the victim, Joe, was standing outside the fast-food restaurant at 9245 W. Venice Blvd. when the suspect approaches the eatery with another man and woman, then suddenly attacks the victim without warning or provocation.
Joe has been receiving treatment for severe head injuries ever since.
Robles said he had just come from a family reunion with her and other relatives at a park down the block.
"I look at the video, and I just think to myself, 'If that was your family, what would you do?'" Robles said. "And that's the hardest part, because I don't get how someone can just watch this happen and let all those people get away with it."
She described her cousin as a loving and energetic guy, "who was just always happy to be around everybody."
The assailant was last seen driving off in a white, four-door sedan with a male and female companion.
He is described as an 18- to 21 year-old man with brown, curly hair, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 195 pounds. At the time, he was wearing a white T-shirt, gray pants and white socks with red-and-white sandals.
His male companion was described as a 17 to 20 years old with dark hair, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 145 pounds. The female with them was described as a 17 to 20 years old with glasses and dark hair in a ponytail.
Anyone with information about the incident can call 310-482-6421.