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The Region | IN BRIEF / EL RIO

Construction Worker Attacked Near Freeway

September 15, 2003|From Times Staff Reports

A Simi Valley construction worker was stabbed several times by a transient Sunday at a job site in the unincorporated community of El Rio, Ventura County sheriff's officials said.

John Barmettler, 44, a crane oiler for Sacramento-based MCM Construction, was attacked about 7 a.m. in the Santa Clara River bottom beneath the Ventura Freeway.

The company is building a new bridge between Ventura and Oxnard, and Barmettler had been preparing cranes to be used today, officials said.

Barmettler was treated for six to 10 knife wounds on his back, neck and arms at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and released, officials said.

Detectives interviewed transients who slept near the bridge and obtained several leads, but an arrest had not been made as of late Sunday.

Officials described the attack as unprovoked and said the assailant may be mentally impaired. Barmettler briefly wrestled with the man, but then ran to a nearby fire station for help.

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