Vista man choked mother, punched father, fought neighbor and attacked their dog: Deputies

An up-close look at a San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputy's vest.

A man who allegedly tried to kill his parents at their Vista home Wednesday, then broke into a nearby residence, attacked a small dog and got into a fight with a neighbor was arrested on a slate of criminal charges.

Barry James Knowlton, 49, allegedly began abusing his parents at their residence in the 1300 block of Via Christina, near Jim Porter Parkway, shortly before 6 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Knowlton allegedly choked his mother repeatedly and punched his father in the face, then got on top of the older man and choked him while covering the victim's mouth to prevent him from breathing, Sgt. Marcello Orsini said.

The suspect then allegedly left the house, forced entry to a neighboring home, attacked the dog and fought with a resident there.

Deputies responding to an emergency call reporting the alleged rampage took Knowlton into custody without incident.

"The elderly victims were treated at the scene for injuries to their neck and face," Orsini said. "The neighbor was treated for a hand injury. The dog is also recovering from its injuries."

Knowlton was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of two counts each of attempted murder and elder abuse, along with charges of burglary and cruelty to an animal. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.

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