Darian Pickle heard children screaming inside a neighbor’s Whittier, California, home just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, reported KABC.
“They just kept screaming and then I heard what sounded like a chainsaw,” Pickle told the station. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ “
Alejandro Alvarez, 32, attacked his wife with a chainsaw as their three young sons watched, police told KTLA.
“We hear a lady scream, ‘Help me! Help me! Call 911,’ ” neighbor Enrique Avila told KABC. “She was going outside and I saw kids with blood and everything.”
Raquel Sanchez told the station that Alvarez also emerged from the home “showered in blood.”
Alvarez sped off in an SUV, but crashed a few minutes later and stole a nearby 2004 Mercury Mountaineer SUV that had been left running, police told KTLA. His flight prompted a manhunt.
Alvarez was arrested at 2 p.m. Thursday in Chula Vista, California, on suspicion of attempted murder, child endangerment, hit and run, and grand theft auto, Whittier police announced on Facebook. Chula Vista police and San Diego County sheriff’s deputies assisted in the investigation leading to his arrest, police said.
His 34-year-old wife is in stable condition and is expected to recover from injuries to her upper body, Officer John Scoggins of the Whittier Police Department told The Riverside Press-Enterprise on Thursday.
Officers recovered the chainsaw at the home, reported The Whittier Daily News.
“It’s pretty scary,” neighbor Martha Garcia told KCBS. “It makes you think, ‘What are they thinking?’ you know. Who does have a chainsaw lying around? We want to feel safe where we live, and we just don’t know sometimes who our neighbors are.”
Alvarez has been deported 11 times since 2005, immigration officials told the Los Angeles Times.