Mental tests ordered for suspect in bloody hammer attack

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The violent attack was captured on one of the auto shop's security cameras.

SAN DIEGO — A mental competency evaluation was ordered Tuesday for a man accused of walking into a North Park auto repair shop and attacking a stranger with a hammer, leaving the victim seriously injured.

Louis Richard Cedarholm, 29, is charged with premeditated attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon in what prosecutors say was an unprovoked attack on 52-year-old Henry Rader.

Deputy Public Defender Mignon Hilts told Judge Lisa Rodriguez that she had doubt as to Cedarholm’s mental competency.

Cedarholm, who faces 13 years to life in prison if convicted, will be examined by a psychiatrist and will return to court March 24.

A security camera captured several images of the attacker.

A security camera captured several images of the attacker.

The defendant was arrested Jan. 17 in the 3800 block of Mississippi Street, near Jack’s Muffler Service, where the attack took place two days earlier.

Rader, an employee at the shop, was eating potato chips about 8 p.m. when Cedarholm walked in with a hammer and, with both hands, hit the victim in the head with the tool, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar alleged.

Cedarholm is seen on surveillance video going into the office, then coming back out and hitting the victim again before leaving, Aguilar alleged.

Rader suffered numerous injuries in the attack, including bleeding on the brain, skull and facial fractures and multiple lacerations, police said. He also lost some teeth and may lose an eye, authorities said. Authorities said he weathered 13 blows.

Rader’s family is raising money via a GoFundMe.com page to help cover his medical expenses and the lengthy rehabilitation period in which he’ll be unable to work.