Unprovoked hammer attack in San Mateo leaves man with severe head trauma

FILE - Handcuffs sitting on a table. (Bernd Wüstneck/picture alliance via Getty Image)

A 41-year-old San Jose man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly attacking a man with a hammer and stealing a vehicle in San Mateo, according to police.

Joaquin Morales, who police accuse of being under the influence of drugs, was hired by a contractor to do some work on a home on North San Mateo Drive between Baldwin and Tilton avenues.

At about 2:30 p.m., Morales allegedly attacked a 34-year-old man with a hammer as the man was walking with his mother, police said.

After Morales allegedly struck the victim in the back of the head, police say he hit the man twice more as he lay unconscious on the ground.


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Morales, who doesn't know the victim, then allegedly stole the contractor's vehicle and fled.

Officers later found Morales near Fourth Avenue and South Fremont Street and arrested him after a brief foot chase.

Because he was suspected of being on drugs, Morales was treated by medics at the scene and then taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police said two witnesses identified Morales as the suspect in the unprovoked hammer attack.

He was booked into San Mateo County Jail and is being held without bail on suspicion of attempted murder, unlawful taking or driving a vehicle, resisting arrest and two outstanding warrants out of Santa Clara County, according to police.

The victim was taken to the hospital with severe head trauma.