San Diego

Suspect in La Jolla Hammer Attack Charged with Attempted Murder, Kidnapping

An argument between La Jolla neighbors turned physical, and ended when one of the men struck the other with a hammer.

The attack happened at around 9:30 a.m. on Mar Avenue off Country Club Drive, according to the San Diego Police Department.

The alleged attacker, identified as 57-year-old Robert Whitaker, was arrested at the scene while a 49-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say Whitaker struck the victim multiple times.

According to court records, Whitaker faces one count of attempted murder in the first degree, and one count of kidnapping. 

Neighbors were shocked to hear about the attack and couldn’t imagine what led to the confrontation. They said Whitaker has been doing construction on his home, and said the victim is a local cardiologist.

"He is just the best neighbor and helps everybody in this neighborhood," Leslie Sayour, who lives nearby, said.

Police have not confirmed the identity of the victim.

Several SDPD officers responded to the home after the attack. A department helicopter was seen flying overhead also.

“I heard the helicopters out there and it was coming really low and then about 10 minutes later I heard ambulances and my son called me who lives nearby and he said ‘Mom there's a whole bunch of ambulances going up your hill and there's police cars,’ so that's when I came outside,” Sayour said. 

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call SDPD.

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