By. C. Harold Pierce
A 23-year-old woman is on life-support after being brutally beaten early Saturday morning in front of a nightclub in Downtown Santa Ana.
Kim Pham was waiting in line at The Crosby at about 12:30 a.m. when she got into an argument with another group. Pham was singled out and beaten by three Latinas and two men in their 20s, police officials said.
Pham is in critical condition at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, according to Santa Ana Police Information Officer Anthony Bertagna.
One suspect, a Santa Ana woman in her 20s, was taken into custody Monday morning on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury after a series of videos led police to her, Bertagna said. They are still searching for the rest of the group.
In a grainy eight-second video that surfaced on Facebook, the group stomped on Pham’s face and kicked her on the ground while spectators can be seen snapping photos and video on their cell phones.
“What I don’t understand is how the people waiting in line can just watch and let this happen. They stand here and shoot videos, but don’t get involved,” said Jim Kendrick, who owns Rags Newspaper stand next door to The Crosby.
Pham was found on the sidewalk unconscious when police arrived at 12:23 a.m. Paramedics rushed her to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana where she remains on life support.
Some Downtown Santa Ana shop owners say that the violence has become common.
“We’re desensitized to it. The violence has become a way of life, and if it hasn’t happened to you or a family member, you don’t feel it,” Shay Palmer, a Downtown store owner said while looking at a memorial cluttered with candles, flowers and pictures dedicated to Pham outside of The Crosby.
Still, the assault is an isolated incident and the Downtown area remains safe, Bertagna said.
Downtown Inc., a group of Downtown Santa Ana business owners, is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the melee.
Police are requesting that anyone with information about the incident including photos or videos contact their office at (714) 245-8390 or anonymously at Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS
Updated Jan. 20, 3:11 p.m. el Don initially reported that Pham died of injuries. Santa Ana Police confirmed Monday afternoon that she is on life-support at Western Medical Center.
Updated Jan 21, 10:17 a.m. Pham’s sister posted this on Facebook at about 10:30 a.m. Monday:
Our beloved sister, daughter and friend Kim (Annie) Pham passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM. Kim is currently on life support because her wishes had always been to help others by being an organ donor.
At this time, we ask for privacy to mourn for our loss. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers and we are still fighting for Kim. Stay strong.