BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The man accused of punching radio show host Ralph Bailey at a Bakersfield steakhouse was arrested after police received an anonymous tip directing them to a social media account with photos of the suspect, court documents say.
A Bakersfield police detective clicked on an Instagram account that showed photos of a man with a post wishing “Alex” a happy birthday, say the reports filed in Superior Court.
The detective performed a records check using the birth date and one of the names that came up was Alexander Vera, who matched the suspect seen in surveillance video of the assault, the reports say.
Vera, 36, was arrested days later and charged with battery with serious bodily injury, a felony. His next court hearing is Dec. 7.
When asked why he hit Bailey, Vera, an oilfield worker, said, “I was getting harassed,” according to the documents.
Bailey suffered a broken jaw that required surgery. And he’s experienced complications that have recently kept him off the air.
“Tried to go to work on Thursday and was sent home because I looked like I had a golf ball in my mouth,” said a post Tuesday afternoon on Bailey’s Facebook page. “Immediately saw my doctor and found the screw placed in my broken jaw back in August touched and infected an embedded molar.”
The post says Bailey had surgery on his mouth Friday to remove the embedded tooth and drain the abscess. He spent four days at Kern Medical and was resting at home, planning to return to the airwaves after the holiday.
Surveillance footage captured the July 31 altercation at KC Steakhouse, where Bailey was celebrating his upcoming birthday.
The video shows Bailey dancing with a woman when Vera cuts in. Bailey continues to try to dance with the woman but Vera blocks him, keeping his back to the KERN Radio host, police say in the reports.
Bailey briefly has a seat, then again tries to dance with the woman. Vera again appears to prevent him and the woman walks away.
At that point, Bailey appears to say something to Vera then puts his hands up “as if he was attempting to avoid a confrontation,” police say in the reports.
Vera turns around and confronts Bailey, who tries to walk away. Vera hits Bailey in the body and shoves him in the back. Bailey turns around with his hands still raised.
Vera punches Bailey, the reports say. Bailey grabs onto the top of the bar to stop from falling, then seizes a bar stool and raises it toward Vera.
Vera hits Bailey twice more, knocking him on his back. The men are then separated and Vera leaves the restaurant after apparently exchanging words with Bailey, according to the reports.
Bailey told 17 News he never saw or talked to Vera before that evening. He said Vera used a racial slur during the incident.
Vera has a felony conviction from 2013 for assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, as well as a DUI and misdemeanor weapons convictions, according to court records.