2 teens arrested in connection with skateboard attack in Spring Valley to face judge Wednesday

Daniel Sparks victimized, dies in hospital

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. - Two teenagers will face a judge Wednesday morning in El Cajon in connection with a series of robbery attempts in which a skateboard was used to attack victims.

According to San Diego County sheriff's investigators, a 17-year-old male and 18-year-old Javier Garcia randomly attacked four people during three separate attacks over the last two weeks in Spring Valley.

One of the victims died after being hit over the head with a skateboard. Daniel Sparks, 61, was found lying in the intersection of Gillespie Drive and Frederick Street bleeding from his head on the evening of Jan. 14.

Ginger Pahl stayed with him until help arrived.       

"He was curled up, kind of in the fetal position," she said. "I noticed he had a significant open wound on his head."

Sparks was treated and released from a hospital. Three days later, a woman found him unconscious in the 9000 block of Jamacha Road. He was taken to the hospital again, but died.

"She said she came home from work, seen the guy halfway in the street, just hung over, couldn't move. She got him up on the curb, he couldn't move ... blood all over the place," neighbor Larry Ross told 10News.

Ross and other neighbors put out flowers near the spot where Sparks was found.

The two suspects are facing charges of attempted robbery and assault, but if the San Diego County Medical Examiner determines that Sparks died from the initial blow to the head, they could be charged with manslaughter.

"We don't believe there was a second assault involved, but he was unconscious at this point," said San Diego sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio. "We don't know whether the initial assault caused his medical condition that caused him to go unconscious or not."

Giannantonio said the victims appeared to have been chosen at random.

"In two of the incidents, the suspects approached people on the street," he said. "One subject by himself, and the other was a young man and woman. They demanded property from them and when the victims wouldn't turn over the property they struck them with the skateboard."

Investigators believe there are more victims in the area. They are also asking witnesses to come forward.

The crime spree is upsetting to residents.

"I just told my wife," said Ross. "She's not walking to the store at night no more, and that's what the neighbor guy is going to do too. It's just too crazy around here."

10News spoke to Garcia's sister at the El Cajon courthouse Wednesday, and she said, "They (authorities) took my laptop, my mom's cellphone, his clothes and hats; and we don't have a skateboard. He doesn't own a skateboard."

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 6.

Sheriff's investigators are urging anyone with information on the incidents to contact the sheriff's Homicide Division at 858-974-2321 or 858-565-5200.

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