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HOUSTON An arrest warrant has been issued for a Rosenberg man accused of assaulting the lead singer of the Grammy-Award winning band La Mafia.

Police identified 22-year-old Jared David Avila as the fan who sucker-punched Oscar De La Rosa outside a Houston bar on May 13. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

De La Rosa and his driver were attacked around 1:30 a.m. outside Blur nightclub at 710 Pacific, according to Houston police.

The victims told police a man approached De La Rosa while they were in the club and asked to take a picture with the singer.

The man made De La Rosa feel uncomfortable so he refused.

The suspect, Avila, became belligerent and was thrown out of the bar, according to La Mafia s manager.

As De La Rosa and his driver were leaving the club, the man ambushed them.

He punched De La Rosa s driver nearly knocking him out, then struck De La Rosa several times, the manager said.

De La Rosa was treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital for severe facial lacerations and possible damage to his right eye. He also lost a couple of teeth. De La Rosa s driver was also treated at the hospital.

The suspect fled on foot, and it took several months for police to track him down.

De La Rosa normally has a bodyguard, but he wasn t with him that night. The band s manager said the attack has made them question the risks they face whenever they hang out in public places. He also called the assault ironic because De La Rosa is almost always willing to take a picture.

De La Rosa founded La Mafia in 1980 in Houston. They toured Mexico and quickly became the first U.S. group to find success on both sides of the border.

The band has won two Grammys, two Latin Grammys and a dozen Tejano Music Awards. It was among the top 10 Billboard Latin Artists for the 1990s.

La Mafia has performed several times in front of record crowds at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

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