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Coquille man charged in hammer attack at bar

January 18, 2018

COQUILLE, Ore. (AP) — Police in southwestern Oregon arrested a 46-year-old man who is suspected of clubbing another man in the head with a claw hammer, authorities said Thursday.

Richard Dockery was arrested at 5:45 a.m. as he tried to enter his home in Coquille, said R. Paul Frasier, the Coos County district attorney.

He was booked into jail on charges of assault and attempted murder.

The arrest ended a manhunt that began Wednesday afternoon when Dockery went to the Four Seasons Inn with a claw hammer and pry bar, and used the hammer to strike 33-year-old Dan Navarro, the district attorney said.

Three patrons in the bar intervened, and the suspect left the building while still carrying the pry bar. The hammer was recovered at the scene.

Frasier said the motive for the attack is unknown and there’s no apparent connection between the men — Navarro recently moved to Coquille from out of state.

Navarro suffered a fractured skull, but is expected to survive, Frasier said. He was being treated at a hospital in Springfield.

Dockery lives five blocks from the bar, and officers surrounded his home Wednesday night. Though surveillance continued, the large police presence was later withdrawn in hopes that the suspect would feel comfortable enough to return, Frasier said.

Dockery is expected to make his first court appearance Friday. It’s unknown if he has retained an attorney or will get a public defender.

Court records show Dockery has a lengthy criminal record, including several prior arrests for assault.

Update hourly