A probationer out of Riverside County was arrested for attempted murder on Thursday after attacking a woman unprovoked with a two-foot wrench outside an El Cajon business, according to police.
Christian Fernando Garciano, 32, was acting strangely, witnesses told El Cajon police, and followed a woman whom he did not know to a business on Fletcher Parkway near Johnson Avenue after 10 a.m.
The woman went into a business and told an employee there the man outside was making her feel uncomfortable, so the two stayed together. But the man entered the business and pulled out a large metal wrench that weighed about three pounds, ECPD said.
The women left, fearing for their safety. But once outside, "the man immediately and without provocation or warning, began to strike the female employee numerous times in the head and upper body before fleeing the scene on foot," ECPD Lt. Randy Soulard said in a written statement.
The women called 911 and officers and paramedics arrived a short time later.
The 40-year-old employee was seriously hurt and transported to a trauma center for treatment. She suffered wounds to her head and hands and fractured an arm but was expected to survive.
Garciano was located a short distance from the business and taken into custody. He was booked into San Diego County Jail on an attempted murder charge.
The victims and the suspect did not know each other, ECPD said, and it was unclear why the women were attacked.
According to ECPD, his criminal history is extensive and at the time of the alleged attack, he was on supervised probation out of Riverside County. Authorities did not detail his previous crimes but described them as "violent."
Garciano is also believed to have been involved in a strong-arm robbery several miles and hours before the attack. He has not been booked on any charges from the robbery but is under investigation. The victim in that incident was unharmed, police said.
ECPD asks anyone with information about the incident to contact them at (619) 579-3311 or San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Online tips can be made at sdcrimestoppers.org.