Suspect arrested after brutal hammer attack in Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- A suspect has been taken into custody after a brutal attack in Costa Mesa that left a man dead in the parking lot of a Costa Mesa apartment complex Wednesday.

It was a gruesome scene in the 2300 block of Vanguard Way, as officers found the bloodied man laying on his back at 8:44 a.m.

Police said the suspect was standing nearby when they arrived, and when they tried to talk to him, he tried to run from the scene. The officer chased the suspect down and subdued him with a Taser.

"From what I heard from the eyewitness, there was an attack ... an older gentleman had a hammer or something that looked like a hammer. And he broke through the window of the driver's side of the car and was hitting the person in the driver's seat with the hammer repeatedly for a long time," said Geoff Huston.

Huston said the suspect then left for a couple minutes, and the victim got out of the car.

"And then he was attacked once again. It was a brutal, fatal attack, with the hammer to the face, unfortunately," Huston said.

A neighbor, who only wanted to be identified as Susan, says the suspect came to her house Tuesday night, but she did not open the door because she says he had been acting strangely for the past several months.

"Weird things, the government was out to get him, there was a chip in him, things like that," she said.

After the deadly attack, Susan says the suspect's son approached her and "apologized, said they've been trying to get him help."

The suspect was identified as Ivan Chernev Dimov of Costa Mesa.

The victim's name has not been released pending notification of family. Both the suspect and the victim are men in their 50s, police said. Their relationship is unknown at this time.
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