Man allegedly uses sledgehammer to attack roommate

Man allegedly uses sledgehammer to attack roommate

Police believe Jeffrey West went after his roommate with a sledgehammer New Year's Eve night. The 911 operator reportedly heard West threaten to kill the victim.

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 12:51 PM

Map: 56th St., north of Broadway Road

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MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa man is behind bars after allegedly going after his roommate with a sledgehammer.

It happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday at a trailer home on 56th Street north of Broadway Road.

According to Sgt. Tony Landato, the victim told the 911 operator that he was locked in a bedroom after an argument with his roommate escalated to violence. The caller, whose name has not been released, said Jeffrey West tried to assault him with a sledgehammer.

Landato said the victim was trying to break up an argument between West and his brother.

"The suspect basically turned his anger on him," Landato said.

The 911 operator stayed on the phone with the victim while officers were dispatched. Landato said West began smashing the bedroom door with the hammer and could be heard by the 911 operator threatening to kill the victim.

When officers arrived on the scene, they helped the victim and his dog climb through a window to safety. West was sitting in the living room.

SWAT was called in when West refused to come out of the house, answering officers' commands with shouted profanities.

"Shockingly, alcohol was definitely a factor," Landato said. "It took us about 60 minutes to get him safely out of the house."

West eventually was arrested and booked on charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

The victim suffered superficial injuries to his chest and hands when the door was being broken down. He declined to talk to 3TV about the incident.

Neighbor Doug Alexander, who told 3TV the police banged on his door and told him to shut off his lights because "'they were raiding across the street," said the victim looked "terrified."

He also said this wasn't the first time there was trouble.

"How can you let such awful people move into a quiet neighborhood?" Alexander asked, saying the pair "liked to party a lot" and that cops had been to the home before. "It's been a problem ever since they moved in, basically."

It's not clear how long the victim and West had been roommates nor do investigators know what sparked the initial argument between West and his brother.

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