Suspect arrested in attack with hammer, lighter fluid

SAN MATEO – A 31-year-old man has been arrested, suspected of attacking another man with a hammer in San Mateo, throwing lighter fluid at him and his dog and trying to set fire to them, police said.

The incident was reported around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday near West Hillsdale Boulevard and Clearview Way, the San Mateo Police Department said in a news release.

Police said the victim was not injured.

The victim lost his cell phone while trying to disarm the suspect, who grabbed it and ran into a wooded area bounded by West Hillsdale Boulevard, Clearview Way, Bayridge Way and the College of San Mateo, police said.

Officers found the suspect, a homeless man, on the 17th block of Bayridge Way.

Police said a psychiatric clinician and officer trained in crisis negotiations negotiated with the suspect for about 45 minutes and eventually convinced him to surrender.

The suspect was arrested and detained in San Mateo County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a corrosive chemical and destruction of evidence – at one point, the suspect set the victim’s cell phone on fire, police said.

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