Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Update Aug. 31, 2005: The concert to benefit Fernando Ayon will take place Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the gym at Southwestern College.
Fernando Ayon is not a confrontational guy.
He doesn’t have any tattoos, he’s not a fighter. He doesn’t dress or talk like a gang member. He’s happy behind the scenes, mixing his music, creating his beats.
But Ayon had to get confrontational on the morning of July 30, when he was stabbed 13 times in the head, neck, chest and arm by an unknown assailant also wielding a stun gun.
In the end, Ayon said, it was fighting back that saved his life. Fighting back at his attacker. Fighting back at death as it closed in on him. Fighting back at unconsciousness and fear as he waited for an ambulance to take him to the hospital.
Now Ayon’s fighting to get better. He knows he’s lucky to be alive, and as he lies on a relative’s couch, his head propped up by a pillow and his arm immobilized in a sling, he has a lot to think about.
He’s not alone. Ayon’s friends, family and the broader Chula Vista community are fighting back with him as they try to piece back together the life of the young music producer and his family. The Ayons have been stranded with nowhere to live, $70,000 in medical bills and a constant fear that Fernando’s attacker might return to finish the job.
Spurred on by Ayon’s sister, Lourdes Ayon-Jimenez, a wide swath of the Chula Vista community has bonded together to organize a forthcoming benefit concert for the Ayons.
The concert will feature some of Ayon’s most popular acts, mainly hip hop artists for whom he has mixed tunes and engineered albums. Ayon-Jimenez hopes to make the event a family concert, a coming-together of friends, family and acquaintances in a show of force against adversity.
The enterprising young woman hopes to raise enough at the October concert to get her brother’s family out of debt and to get her brother back where she feels he belongs: making his music. Any money that’s left over from the event, she said, will be donated to a victim’s compensation fund.
Ayon’s pretty sure who attacked him, but he’s not giving out any names. Chula Vista Police Department Sgt. Yvette Roullier said police are investigating the incident but have not made any arrests. Roullier said she was not aware of any witnesses to the attack.
Ayon said the attacker was a jaded ex-customer, one of the street rappers that come to him looking for some background music and drum beats for their lyrics.
Ayon explained that he has been in a long-running feud with such a musician, a young Hispanic rapper for whom he produced a number of songs before the two fell out of favor. Ayon’s version of the ensuing dispute has the unnamed rapper stealing music Ayon had produced for him and selling that music to other rappers in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
Ayon was about to release an album that detailed the dispute from his point of view. The album, which has not yet been released, features a number of rappers denouncing those who steal and cheat to get ahead in the music business. He thinks it was the upcoming release of the album that spurred the attack.
Ayon described that night. He had just returned from a concert and was getting something out of his car when the assailant lunged at him from behind. Ayon said the attacker stuck a stun gun into his side and sent a teeth-clenching jar right through him that rendered him unable to protect himself from the blows that were raining down.
Quite apart from the shock and the pain, however, what Ayon remembers most clearly from the early moments of the attack is a feeling of physical closeness.
“If somebody gets real close to you, you feel that invasion,” said Ayon. “It’s not like when somebody’s shooting you from far away, or throwing something at you.”
But despite being stabbed repeatedly, including in his face and neck, Ayon said he managed to land a heavy kick to the attacker’s face. The kick was enough to discourage the assailant and he fled. Gasping and covered in blood, Ayon somehow managed to call 911 on his cell-phone before collapsing, barely conscious over the hood of his car. He said he didn’t want to wake his wife or three young children for fear that he might scare them.
Eventually, Ayon said, he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to UCSD Medical Center.
Almost one month later, Ayon is on the mend. His cuts are slowly healing, leaving vicious scars. His doctors have told him that he will never have any feeling in the left side of his face. He may also have limited use of his left arm and hand, depending on how well he responds to physical therapy.
Plans for Ayon’s benefit concert are well underway. Ayon-Jimenez said that she is in discussions with Southwestern College officials, who have offered to host the event. Ayon-Jimenez said she wants to try and create something that all ages can enjoy.
“It’s going to be a family-friendly event for people to come together and to showcase my brother’s music – to show that this isn’t a street thing.”
Ayon-Jimenez has enlisted the help of a number of Chula Vista politicians and activists to help her with her cause, including Assemblyman Juan Vargas, National City Councilman Luis Natividad and Senator Denise Ducheny.
“What they’re trying to do is wonderful,” said Ducheny. “It’s great that the musical community has come together to offer support for the family and the victim. He’s just a husband and a father that’s trying to make a new business, and I don’t want to see that stopped mid-stream.”
Ayon-Jimenez doesn’t yet have an exact date for the event. She’s also still looking for a venue, in case Southwestern College doesn’t work out. She has already set up a fund for her brother, and said people can contribute directly through it. The fiscal agent is The Crime Victims’ fund. Checks can be sent directly to the fund, care of Fernando Ayon.
Please contact Will Carless directly at