SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man was high on drugs and claimed to have voices in his head when he severely beat a woman with a baseball bat and stole from cars on Monday at a trailhead at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale police say.
According to court paperwork, 32-year-old Wesley Tye Abeita attacked an older woman and then he smashed the driver's side window as she tried to start her car to leave. Abeita then swung the end of the bat at the woman's face and head more than six times. Police say the woman suffered fractures on the left side of her face, skin tears on her left arm, broken bones in her leg and a severe concussion and was taken to the hospital.
According to police, witnesses attempted to distract Abeita from beating the woman by throwing rocks at him, but Abeita retaliated and damaged their vehicles. Abeita smashed the window of another van and the driver suffered small cuts. Witnesses called 911 but by the time officers arrived at the trail, Abeita was gone. Officers searched the area but were unable to find him. Witnesses said they heard Abeita screaming he was "doing God's work," according to court paperwork.
On Tuesday morning, a city employee saw Abeita in the trail's parking lot and called the police. Abeita was wearing a "City of Scottsdale" vest when officers arrived, and they asked Abeita if he worked for the city. According to police, Abeita told them he broke into the ranger's car and said people were trying to kidnap him, hit him with a bat and said the "police weren't really the police." According to court paperwork, a Scottsdale city vehicle was found with windows shattered and Abeita had stolen items from the vehicle. Abeita was then taken into custody by police.
During an interview with police, Abeita told officers he had been high on acid and meth he got from other transients in the Glendale area. According to court paperwork, Abeita said he was having a "bad trip" and drove the wrong way on the freeway, dodging other cars that were driving at him. Abeita eventually drove to the trail and said he thought people were after him. Abeita told officers he saw a lady staring at him, so he took out a bat, hit her in her legs, face and head, and smashed her car window. He then struck two other vehicles and said his intention was to get the men away because he thought they were going to kidnap him, police say.
Abeita then told police he ran away into the mountain area on Monday night, taking the bat with him. He then went back to the trail and tried to steal a truck, but couldn't start it so he slept in the truck. According to police, Abeita wrote an apology letter to the woman and said he "hoped and prayed she was OK." Abeita also told officers he "did not intend to kill anyone, but knock them out so they didn't come from him." He also added, "the devil got into his head," according to court documents.
Abeita was booked on one count of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault with serious physical injury, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of criminal damage, one count disorderly conduct, one count of third-degree burglary and one count of theft.