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Woman seriously injured in unprovoked attack on Ventura pier


VENTURA, Calif. – A woman was seriously injured after an unprovoked attack on Ventura pier last week.

At around 8:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Ventura police officers responded for a report of an assault on the Ventura pier.

Officers arrived and found a 62-year-old woman bleeding from a wound to the face.

In their investigation, officers found that the woman was walking with her friend at the pier near Harbor Boulevard when she was attacked by a man with a metal pipe. Ventura police say her attacker is a 60-year-old man who is homeless.

The victim was identified as Julie Howard from Ventura. Her daughter, Sara Martinez from Ventura, reached out to NewsChannel 3-12 and said her mother suffered serious injuries from the attack.

Her attacker was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem.

Martinez says she is shocked by what had happened and says it is reminiscent of a 2018 attack in the same area. In that attack, a 49-year-old man who was described by police as a vagrant, stabbed and killed a 35-year-old father in front of his wife and child.

Both Martinez and Howard say they are worried about the safety of the community when these random attacks happen in busy public places like the pier.

"It is my hope that what's happened to me will be the catalyst for a dramatic change in our community. People should be able to walk down the Ventura promenade without fear," said Howard.

Ventura Police Commander Rick Murray says the suspect has been arrested many times before. Several of his arrests include driving under the influence, battery and theft, robbery, resisting arrest, lewd acts upon a child and assault with a deadly weapon.

These arrests date all the way back to 1991.

"Since the attack, there have been units assigned in the (Ventura Pier) area," said Murray.

When asked about what could be done in these unprovoked cases, Murray said "they held their end" saying once the case goes to the District Attorney's Office, it will be their jurisdiction on what happens with the suspect.

Murray also attributes the problem to a system where suspects are not kept in custody longer.

Martinez says her mother was released from the emergency room but the attack knocked out her teeth and broke a bone near her eyebrow which has caused nerve damage.

Howard is recently retired after working for years with the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay Howard's medical expenses. To learn more, click here. As a warning, the link includes graphic photos of injuries and should be viewed with caution.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County

Julia Nguyen


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