Three Fullerton teens are in custody after assaulting Fullerton College Campus Safety Officer

Fullerton Police Officers were dispatched to Fullerton College, located at 321 E. Chapman Ave, regarding the disturbance of the peace. The reporting party advised dispatch that a Fullerton College Campus Safety Officer was injured after an altercation on campus involving three suspects. Fullerton Police Officers arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call for assistance. 

 A Fullerton College Safety Officer located three suspects in the quad next to the 200 Building, trespassing on a bench on October 13, 2023, at 6:13 am. When the lone Fullerton College Safety Officer contacted the suspects, they immediately began to attack him. During the assault, the Safety Officer was punched, kicked, head stomped, and eye gouged by the suspects. The Safety Officer was able to radio for assistance. As other Safety Officers arrived on the scene to help, one of the males removed a tomahawk-style axe from his backpack and swung it at the Safety Officers. None of the Safety Officers were struck with the axe. The Safety Officers on the scene were able to detain one of the males, later identified as 18-year-old Elijah Balfe, a resident of Fullerton. As the Safety Officers detained Balfe, the other two male subjects fled on foot northbound through the campus. 

Fullerton Police Officers, based on the description given, later located a 17-year-old male suspect at N. Hornet Way and N. Berkeley Ave. As officers attempted to contact him, he fled from them on foot. After a short foot pursuit, he was taken into custody without incident. Police Officers located a tomahawk-style axe on his person, and he was later identified as a 17-year-old male resident of Fullerton. 

Officers on the scene identified the third suspect, later identified as 18-year-old male Austin Valdovinos from Fullerton. Valdovinos was located at a residence in the 200 block of N Berkeley Ave at approximately 7:32 am. After a brief standoff, Valdovinos was taken into custody without incident. 

At this point in the investigation, there is no evidence to indicate that this incident was driven by any racial, political, or ideological motives. There are no outstanding threats related to this incident. 

Valdovinos and Balfe were booked into the Fullerton City Jail for assault with a deadly weapon. The 17-year-old male juvenile was later transported to Orange County Juvenile Hall for assault with a deadly weapon. 

The victim, a 53-year-old male, has been employed with Fullerton College Campus Safety for 12 years. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to his face from the unprovoked attack. 

We have contacted our partners at Fullerton College, who will provide an incident update to their campus community. 

4 replies »

  1. The two 18 year olds are people I have met recently. Their personalities and demeanor did not display an ability to initiate behavior like this, although, anyone can be provoked to fight for their lives and instinct kicks in. The news is currently stating one side of a confrontation when they’re supposed to be a big proponent for bringing to light as much unbiased information as they can; since they cannot bring themselves to do much other than help along a one sided story, I figured someone who has at least met the two boys mentioned here can give a little feedback on their behalf. Give some thought to the information provided, one of them supposedly looked to be in need of medical attention – no details, other than it gave the security guard reason to approach them; they suddenly, unprovoked, began to beat, stomp and eye gouge, yet the security guard has already been released from the hospital with minor wounds. Had they really wanted to just attack him to harm him, wouldn’t 3 of them be at least enough to do more than minor wounds and why didn’t they just attack him with the axe to begin with since they’re just there to commit unprovoked violence? I may sound sarcastic in that last sentence, but it isn’t my intent, i feel that my questions are valid and that I shouldn’t be the only one asking them and more.

    • Although even carrying a tomahawk on campus seems like. a point against at least one of the three – if you have contact info for them and they want to tell their side of the story I am sure media would be interested. None of the three have contacted the paper yet.

  2. If you carry a tomahawk and swing it at a law enforcement officer you deserve three well-placed bullet slugs in your chest and forehead. The tomahawk swinger will likely see his next birthday. The fabric of our society is in peril.

    • Wishing to compound the mayhem unnecessarily is what puts who we are in peril.

      I have no idea what in the world was happening there but I am glad no one died.