A 25-year-old man sustained a serious head injury after a suspect allegedly attacked him with a crowbar at a local gas station.
The violent attack happened Saturday just before 3 a.m. at the Express Gas station located at 5109 Imperial Ave. in San Diego’s Valencia Park area.
The suspect – later arrested and identified by police as Clare Lyle Neighbour, 56 -- had driven into the gas station and told the station clerk he needed gas but had no money. The clerk refused him gas.
Just then, another car drove into the gas station occupied by a man and woman.
The man – identified as Carlos Ramirez, 25 -- began pumping gas when Neighbour walked up to the woman wielding a crowbar. Neighbour demanded money, but the woman refused.
Police say that’s when Neighbour walked up to Ramirez and asked him for money. Again, his request was ignored.
Neighbour then allegedly hit Ramirez about 25 times in the head with the crowbar before fleeing the gas station, officials said.
Ramirez sustained a serious head injury and was transported to a local hospital. The woman was not injured in the crowbar attack.
Neighbour fled the scene following the attack and police were not able to immediately locate him.
He was later arrested Monday afternoon in Huntington Beach, Calif., officials said.
Huntington Beach police turned Neighbour over to San Diego police that same day, and he was booked into San Diego Central Jail on attempted murder and robbery charges.
He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In court, Deputy District Attorney Chris Moon gave a brief update on Ramirez’s condition stemming from the gas station attack.
“As a result of that attack, the victim nearly died. He suffered a brain hemorrhage [and] fractures in his skull. He lost consciousness as well. And, it’s unclear what the prognosis will be going forward,” said Moon.
Investigators say Neighbouris a transient, who appears to be living out of his truck. He has no direct ties to San Diego.
His bail has been set at $1.5 million. He's scheduled to appear in court again on Mar. 8.