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Pepper arrested on suspicion of assaulting man outside store

By Bianca Montes
April 17, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2014 at 11:18 p.m.

Marlin Wayne Adams

A 52-year-old Victoria man is fighting for his life after being attacked Thursday morning near a convenience store.

Lupe Sandoval was leaving Stripes Convenience Store, 1302 E. Rio Grande St., at 4:20 a.m. when he was struck in the back of the head and severely beaten while unconscious, his family said.

Marlin Adams, 59, known more throughout Victoria as "Pepper," was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, causing serious bodily injury and obstruction or retaliation, both felonies, and is being held at the Victoria County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Because Sandoval is in a coma, his family remains in the dark about details of the attack and struggles to understand how someone they know well may be responsible.

"We know him - we all know Pepper," Rose Sandoval said. "I don't know what set him off to attack my brother, but it's scary; he just walks around Victoria, and you never know what he is capable of."

The attack Thursday morning isn't a first for Adams. According to court records, he's been arrested and convicted previously for assault causing bodily injury, aggravated assault of a police officer and unlawfully carrying a weapon.

The criminal complaint regarding Thursday's attack states Adams also made threatening comments to the arresting officer, stating he was "coming to get me when he got out of jail," the officer wrote in the report.

Victoria Police Department officials are investigating the assault and were unable to comment Thursday.

Sandoval was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and has a fractured skull. He is unable to breathe on his own, his sister said.

The family requests prayers from the community.

"Don't be fooled," Rose Sandoval said. "You never know what he (Pepper) is capable of - this is a wake-up call."

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