EL CAJON (CNS) - A man who allegedly attacked his father with a samurai sword at the victim's Spring Valley home over Christmas weekend pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of elder abuse causing injury, assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary.
John Cahan, 39, allegedly walked into his 69-year-old father's bedroom about 3 a.m. Sunday, roused the sleeping victim and angrily demanded that he hold out one of his hands so the younger man could cut it off.
"Cahan swung the sword several times over his father and then brought it down, striking his lower leg," sheriff's Sgt. Mark Varnau said earlier.
"The blade cut the victim's leg, causing a potentially life-threatening wound. Cahan left the room with the weapon but returned later to try to stop the bleeding."
About 90 minutes later, Cahan called medics to his dad's Terrace Spiro home, claiming the older man had accidentally injured himself while sleepwalking, according to Varnau.
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Deputies questioned Cahan, then arrested him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. The suspect's father identified his son as the person who had inflicted the wound, Varnau said.
Varnau did not disclose a motive for the attack.
Deputy District Attorney Chantal De Mauregne said Cahan also faces allegations of great bodily injury, the use of a weapon and an allegation that the burglary was committed against a person over 65.
Cahan faces 12 years in prison if convicted, according to the prosecutor.
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