North Park auto repair shop employee attacked with hammer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

North Park auto repair shop employee attacked with hammer

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego police Monday sought a man who struck an employee at a North Park auto repair shop in the head with a hammer 13 times in an apparently unprovoked attack, leaving him in critical but stable condition at a hospital with severe head trauma.

A surveillance camera at Jack's Muffler Service on University Avenue near Mississippi Street recorded images of the suspect as he approached the employee, who was identified by his family as Henry Rader.

Rader was eating alone in the service bay around 8:10 p.m. Sunday, when his attacker pulled out a hammer and struck the him in the head seven times, San Diego Police Department Officer John Buttle said.

After Rader fell to the floor, the suspect looked around the business office, but didn't take anything. He then headed back to the bay and proceeded to hit Rader in the head with the hammer six more times while he was on the ground, Buttle said.

The suspect "calmly" exited the bay, put the hammer in his backpack and walked away on westbound University Avenue, according to Buttle. A passerby spotted Rader and called 911 shortly after 8:30 p.m.

Paramedics summoned to the bloody crime scene found Rader and took him to a hospital to be treated for numerous injuries, including bleeding on his brain, skull and facial fractures, multiple lacerations and missing teeth, Buttle said.

Rader has been placed on a ventilator and may lose an eye, but doctors did not consider his injuries to be life-threatening, Buttle said.

Police described the assailant as white, 25 to 32 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall, 150 to 170 pounds with a thin build, a light brown buzzed haircut receding at the temples and one to two weeks of unshaven light brown or blonde beard growth.

The suspect was wearing a black jacket, medium blue T-shirt, medium blue jeans and black shoes with a white outline on the soles. He was carrying a dark blue backpack.

Rader's family started an online fundraiser at on Monday with a goal of raising $10,000.

"He will need multiple surgeries and lengthy rehabilitation time and will be unable to work for some time," the page said.

There was a photo of Rader connected to tubing in a hospital bed on the page. Donors had pledged $610 as of Monday afternoon.

What prompted the attack was not immediately determined. Police asked anyone with information about the attack to call detectives at (619) 516-3011.

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