SAN DIEGO -- “I always felt alright. I felt safe. Until that morning.”
Michael Papadelis will never forget the morning of July 15, when he was sleeping near Interstate 5 in Golden Hill and woke up to terror as a man attacked him with a hammer.
“I started getting hit. I remember seeing someone’s eyes and something silver coming down on me and that was it," said the 55-year-old.
Papadelis suffered a fractured nose and jaw. He’s now blind in his right eye with blurry vision in the other.
“Friends told me they couldn’t recognize me, how bad my face was swollen," he said.
Shortly after Papadelis was attacked, police arrested 39-year-old Jon David Guerrero, the suspect in a 12-day killing spree.
Investigators say Guerrero used a hammer and railroad spikes as he attacked five homeless men in their sleep. Three victims died and two were also set on fire.
Papadelis said he’s lucky to be alive.
“He didn’t try to put a spike in me or set me on fire. He just beat me with a hammer a couple of times and walked off," said Papadelis.
A judge ruled Guerrero was not competent to stand trial and sent him to a state mental hospital for treatment.
Papadelis hopes, one day, he’ll see Guerrero back in court.
“I just feel he knew what he was doing. He went looking for people who were alone and secluded and he could attack," he said. “I just hope there’s justice in this case, where they say he can stand trial.”