By DAVID LOPEZ
Food Pantry President Forrest Walker said she was violently assaulted last Tuesday, September 15, by a homeless man named David Solano, Jr.
The attack resulted in Walker’s neck and arm being cut open, with several bruises across her upper body. She reported the incident immediately to the police and pressed charges, and filed a permanent restraining order against Solano.
Solano is currently being held at the Carrizales-Rucker jail with three charges: injury to elderly, failure to identify as a fugitive, and indecent exposure. His bail stands at $10,000.
According to Walker, Solano was a regular at the Pantry who would spend some nights in the building’s guest room. She said she had known him for close to eight years.
In a phone interview, Walker described the events as they unfolded, saying she and her husband, Omar, had returned to the Pantry Tuesday evening to take Solano to dinner.
Omar said, “Hey David, bring the basket so we can unload the car,” as the Walkers had just bought groceries.
As Solano came out with the basket, Omar said, “My bad, I forgot we already unloaded it.” According to Walker, that made Solano angry: he began cursing at Omar and came over to the driver’s side where Forrest was, beating on her side of the window and hitting her car.
Walker said she and her husband drove off and went to have dinner without Solano.
“He’s bipolar, and he’s cursed at me before and walked out, but he was never violent,” said Walker of Solano. “I had never felt unsafe around him before.”
Later in the evening, a barber next door to the Pantry called Walker, saying that Solano was outside the building, crying and shaking. The barber told Walker that she should come back to make sure everything is fine.
“So when I got there, I told Omar, ‘You stay in the car. I’ll just go see if David’s alright,’” Walker said.
Solano was inside the building, as he had his own key to the Pantry. When Walker approached him, she said he came in, and he was sitting in the kitchen area, eating and talking to himself. She went to the inside of the table, between the table and the wall, and began talking to him.
“He looked up at me and said, ‘You better not call my sister a [expletive] again or I’m going to hurt you,’”
Walker described. “I said, ‘David, I don’t know your sister. What’s wrong with you?’ And that’s all it took.”
She said Solano then pushed the table against her to pin her up against the wall, and he jumped over the table and began choking her. He let her go for a second, and she got away, but he soon threw her against the wall and continued choking her. He let go again, repeating the pattern about four more times until Walker ran out through the front door, bleeding profusely from her neck and arm.
“All the while I was screaming and screaming, ‘Get off me!’ When I ran outside, Omar jumped out the car in a panic, and I said ‘Stay in the car and call 911!’”
While the two were in the car, Solano came running out and lifted their car’s hatchback. Walker sped away to behind the church’s parking lot near the Pantry, waiting for the police to arrive.
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