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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Suspects arrested in hammer attack in northern Spokane County

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 11, 2018

Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men suspected of ambushing another man at his home and beating him with a hammer in northern Spokane County.

The victim was sent to a hospital, but not before he wrested control of the hammer from his attacker and struck him back.

The attack, according to police, was orchestrated by the father of a woman who had a history with the victim.

Police arrested the suspected attacker, 44-year-old Eric D. Kaiser, and John H. Tollefson, 50, whom investigators say participated in the attack. Police accuse them of luring the victim from his residence with a plea for help only to try and kill him with a hammer.

When the victim, a 22-year-old man, answered a knock on his door on the 15400 block of North Edencrest Drive at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Kaiser was standing at the door and told the victim that his car had hit the victim’s car because of icy conditions, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

When the victim stepped out of his house, Kaiser allegedly began hitting him with a hammer, according to a news release from Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The two began to fight and entered several neighboring yards. The victim eventually took the hammer away from Kaiser and began hitting him with it, the sheriff’s office said. The victim also pulled Kaiser’s shirt off, bit him and screamed for help. A neighbor then arrived to help.

Kaiser fled before deputies arrived with a K-9 unit, which did not find him immediately.

While investigating the assault, the victim told deputies a truck had driven by multiple times and it might be involved. Deputies found the truck in the area and pulled it over.

The driver, Tollefson, told deputies he had been at a family member’s house and that he knew the victim. Tollefson said he had driven by multiple times because he was being “nosy” because his daughter had a history with the victim, according to the news release.

The relationship between the victim and Tollefson’s daughter was not disclosed.

Tollefson refused to answer additional questions and was released.

Investigators later learned Tollefson had not been to the family member’s house where he claimed to be. When deputies went to his residence on the 4300 block of West Osage Way, they learned he had been with Kaiser, who matched a description of the attacker, according to the sheriff’s report.

Deputies left the residence to search for the suspect’s vehicle and later returned to find the truck at the home, where the two men were.

Kaiser had “a large injury to the top of his head, as well as scrapes and what appeared to be a bite mark to his arm,” according to the news release.

Deputies arrested the two men, and Kaiser was taken to a hospital.

Kaiser and Tollefson were booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit murder.

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