CARLSBAD — A 68-year-old Oceanside man is in a coma after being attacked just before Christmas while working at Plaza Paseo Real shopping center in La Costa.
Aureo Duque was working when he was allegedly attacked by 28-year-old Patrick Ferncase, of Vista, at 10:22 a.m. on Dec. 22, according to Carlsbad police. According to Duque’s daughter, Natalia McInnis, Ferncase approached Duque and started assaulting him kicking him while he was on the ground.
Duque was found unconscious by paramedics after suffering “severe brain injuries” and is currently in the intensive care unit, McInnis said in a GoFundMe post. The suspect, Ferncase, was followed by a witness who led police to his location before he was arrested.
Ferncase is charged with suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and a parole hold, according to CPD. Police also said there is no connection between the two men.
An online fundraiser has raised more than $27,000 for medical expenses. Duque is a grandfather of 12 and remains in critical condition, according to updates from McInnis.
A message was left with McInnis but not returned before deadline.
“Aureo is a hardworking family man who wanted nothing more than to provide for his family and be with his grandkids,” Natalia said in the post. “My family and I appreciate all the support you can give.”
Investigators are seeking additional information. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Christopher Collier at (760) 931-2110 or by email at [email protected] or Sgt. James Willis at (760) 931-2139 or by email at [email protected].