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SAN DIEGO  — An argument between two La Jolla residents escalated Wednesday into a bludgeoning assault that sent one of them to a hospital and the other to jail.

The men were quarreling in the 7500 block of Mar Avenue about 9:30 a.m. when one of them, a 57-year-old man later identified as Robert Whitaker, struck his 49-year-old neighbor with a hammer several times, according to San Diego police Sgt. Ed Zwibel.

A witness called police, and patrol officers took the suspected assailant into custody, the sergeant said.

Medics took the victim to a trauma center for treatment of non-life- threatening injuries, Zwibel said.

The reason for the dispute between the men was unclear.