A man suspected of attacking his wife with a chainsaw in front of their three children in Whittier was charged Monday with attempted murder and other crimes.
Alejandro Villegas Alvarez, 32, faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage and three counts of child abuse.
The felony complaint also includes allegations of great bodily injury and personal use of a deadly weapon.
Alvarez made his initial appearance this afternoon at the Bellflower courthouse, but did not enter a plea. He was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail pending arraignment, which was rescheduled to July 25.He is facing up to life in prison if convicted as charged.
The drama unfolded Wednesday when Whittier police were sent to the 7700 block of Milton Avenue on a report of "an attempted murder stemming from a domestic violence incident," said Officer John Scroggins, a spokesman for the Whittier Police Department.
When police arrived, they found a woman suffering from wounds caused by a chainsaw, officials said. She was taken to a hospital with wounds to her chest. She was listed in stable condition and was expected to survive. The children, ages 10, 8 and 5, were not hurt. They were placed into protective custody, Scoggins said.
Alvarez drove off before police could arrest him, police said. While on the run, Alvarez crashed the car, then took a Mercury Mountaineer from a driver who had left the keys in the ignition, police said.
Authorities found Alvarez in San Diego County on Thursday afternoon still inside the stolen sport utility vehicle, Scroggins said.
During the traffic stop, Alvarez allegedly tried to ram a police car, but authorities managed to take him into custody without anyone getting hurt, said Chula Vista Police Lt. Kenny Heinz.
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Alvarez had no connection to Chula Vista, but it's near Mexico, where he has family, police said. Immigration officials said Friday that Alvarez had been deported 11 times since 2005.
City News Service contributed to this report.