GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — A father of 4 was hospitalized with serious head injuries after being assaulted with a hammer early Friday at a 7-Eleven in Gresham.
The attack, seemingly random, happened just after 5 a.m. at the store, 1430 NE 181st, Gresham police said in a release. Paul Dovgan and his friend, Alex, stopped in the store for a quick cup of coffee when he was brutally attacked.
Dovgan’s wife, Natalie, told KOIN 6 News the attack left her husband with a brain bleed and needing screws to close the gap in his forehead made by the hammer.
“Why would you try to kill a man that has 4 kids, a wife, is trying to work really hard? Why would you just attack a person like that? He still has little kids that still need a daddy,” Natalie said by phone.
The suspect, identified by police as 39-year-old Jonathan Jones, was arrested about 14 hours later on Northeast 160th Avenue north of Burnside Street.
Jones was sitting in his car when officers spotted him, police said. He ran from authorities but was caught.
Those who live near the 7-Eleven where the attack happened told KOIN 6 News the area is normally quiet.
“The neighborhood is pretty nice,” said Andrew Poling, who visits the 7-Eleven where the attack happened. “I haven’t seen much trouble here other than this so it’s a bit surprising but not completely surprising.”
Others who live in the area are disturbed by the violent assault.
“The fact that it was completely unprovoked is kind of terrifying because you can’t necessarily feel like you are safe 24/7 like we used to be able to feel like,” said Isabella Gagne.
It’s not the first time Jones used a hammer in an attack. Jones was convicted of assault and unlawful use of a weapon in 2011 after hitting a stranger in the head with a hammer in a Walmart parking lot.
“It felt like a relief that they caught him,” Natalie Dovgan said. “It is just not safe to have this man around the neighborhood.”