An argument inside a convenience store in Clairemont led to a young man attacking another man with a hatchet, San Diego police said.
The suspect – Christopher Alvaras, 21 – was with three other men inside a 7-Eleven on Genesee Avenue around noon when he got into an argument with another man inside the store, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said.
7-Eleven store clerk Rebecca Fonseca told NBC 7 Alvaras became upset when the victim asked him about a sausage and began taunting him, following him around the store.
Fearing a confrontation, Fonseca told Alvaras and his companions to leave.
The group of men left and waited outside for the victim to exit the store.
Surveillance video obtained by NBC 7 showed that when the victim exited the store, a man chased him into the center of Genesee Avenue before hitting him with a roofing hatchet. The suspect fled, leaving the 44-year-old victim in the street.
Police said the hatchet-wielding suspect was Alvaras, wearing a lime green vest, who fled the scene with his companions in a green Honda minivan.
The group was last seen traveling north on Mt. Abernathy Avenue and Mt. Alifan Drive, police said.
The victim suffered a 1.5-inch laceration to the back of his head and was taken to a local hospital. Police said he is expected to survive. His name was not immediately released.
About 20 minutes later, officers spotted the suspect’s minivan at 16th Avenue and G Street in downtown San Diego, approximately 11 miles south of the attack. Alvaras was standing next to the van.
Witnesses positively identified him during a curbside lineup as the man involved in the bizarre crime. During a search of the minivan, police found the roofing hatchet. A woman was also detained at the scene, though her connection to the ordeal is unclear.
Alvaras will be booked into county jail on one count of assault with a deadly weapon, the SDPD said. On Friday, the San Diego County District Attorney's office said the suspect had bailed out of jail; he's scheduled to appear in court next week.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this case can reach out to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.