Homeless man arrested in alleged hatchet assault

November 13, 2018

Body Beach has long been a refuge for Lake Havasu City’s transient population, but for police it became the scene of an alleged assault earlier this month.

Lake Havasu City Police officers were dispatched to Body Beach on Nov. 2 after receiving reports of an aggravated assault. The victim, who was not identified in the police report, met with officers and informed them she had been beaten by her romantic partner, 60-year-old John M. Klein. The victim was visibly upset, bruised, bleeding, and officers observed the odor of alcohol on her breath, the police report said.

The victim told officers that Klein, also known as “SoCal,” had been physically abusive toward her for the past 10 days. For two days prior to her report, Klein had been slapping her face with an open hand, had dragged her on the ground by her hair multiple times, and had been kicking her head and back while wearing steel-toe boots.

On Nov. 2, the victim allegedly told officers she and Klein shared alcoholic drinks at their camp on Body Beach. According to the victim’s statements, the two argued, and Klein struck her before taking her purse and mobile phone. She attempted to leave the camp later that evening, the report said, and Klein pushed her to the ground. He kicked her, dragged her through the gravel, slapped her face several times and allegedly wrapped his arm around the victim’s neck. According to police, Klein then picked up a hatchet and held the blade to the victim’s throat as he threatened to kill her.

The victim managed to free herself, she told officers, and fled south, where a Good Samaritan allowed her to use a mobile phone to contact police.

The victim directed officers to Klein’s camp, the report said, before she was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.

Police were unable to locate Klein until Nov. 4, when an officer allegedly observed him at a Mesquite Avenue address. It was unknown at the time whether Klein might be armed, the police report said, and the arresting officer drew his electronic stun device before confronting the suspect.

Klein surrendered himself into officers’ custody, the report said, but expressed confusion as to the cause for his arrest. He was transported to Lake Havasu City Jail, and agreed to speak with detectives.

According to statements allegedly made by Klein, the victim was an uncontrollable alcoholic. According to the report, Klein said he told the victim to leave, and asserted that the victim started a physical altercation with another resident of Body Beach. During the altercation, Klein said, the victim threw a hatchet at the other party. Klein explained the victim’s injuries were caused during a separate incident in which multiple assailants beat her, the police report said.

Klein was charged with felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct with a weapon.

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