SPPD still seeking witnesses, clues in unprovoked hammer attack

December 09, 2016
Santa Paula News

A 70-year-old Santa Paula man remained in critical condition after being attacked by a man wielding a hammer Saturday outside a friend’s home and police are still seeking information on the incident.

Tim Mason, a retired pilot widely known in Santa Paula, was attacked December 3 outside a home on Wakeford Drive about 10:49 p.m. 

According to Santa Paula Police Senior Sgt. Cody Madison, the attack in the 100 block of Wakeford Avenue appears to have been unprovoked. 

“We still have no idea,” what the incident stemmed from. 

He said the victim and the suspect, “Didn’t know each other, they weren’t friends, and we don’t know what prompted this whole thing.”

Mason, a lifelong resident of Santa Paula whose family has been involved in aviation for generations, was reportedly getting recyclables out of the trunk of his vehicle when he was struck from behind. 

Madison said “a neighbor” called 9-1-1 and reported, “Two men were fighting,” and while en route learned a hammer was involved.

Santa Paula Fire EMTs and ambulance paramedics treated Mason on scene before he was transported to the Ventura County Medical Center Trauma Unit. 

Mason underwent surgery and is in a medically induced coma. His condition is still considered critical.

The suspect, Montalvo did not leave the scene and was taken into custody without incident. The hammer allegedly used by the suspect was located in the front yard of a nearby residence. 

Madison said Tuesday that it did not appear that Montalvo was under the influence at the time of the attack; he would not cooperate with investigators.

“He said he wanted a lawyer,” which Madison noted ended questioning by investigators.

Local police did not know Montalvo and had no record of him.

Montalvo was transported to the Santa Paula Police Department for processing and later to the Ventura County Jail and charged with the crime of attempted murder. 

The suspect is being held on bail set at $510,000.

Madison said Montalvo made a brief court appearance Tuesday and is expected to return to court December 21. 

If anyone witnessed or has further information on this incident they are asked to contact Detective Randy Haumann at (805) 525-4474 x 211 or at rhaumann@spcity.org

Information can be given anonymously.

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