Man held in deadly hammer attack at Silver Lake construction site

A 21-year-old Los Angeles man was in custody Friday morning on suspicion of using a hammer to bludgeon a fellow construction worker to death.
Police arrested Christian Valdez on Thursday afternoon at his home, a couple of blocks away from the crime scene on Burns Avenue in Silver Lake, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Melvin Gamble.

Valdez and the victim, who police identified as 20-year-old Luis Sanchez of Los Angeles, were reportedly working together about 1:45 p.m. at a construction site in the 4200 block of Burns Avenue when, for reasons not immediately known, they got into a dispute.

Police say Valdez used a hammer to bludgeon Sanchez's face before fleeing the scene.


Sanchez was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour later, Gamble said.

The dispute may have started over a dent in a woman's SUV, KTLA reported.

Romana Alvarez, who lives near the construction site, told the TV station that Valdez had borrowed Sanchez's car two days before and then later crashed into her SUV, which was parked near the work site. Valdez fled the area, she said.

A neighbor, however, reportedly got the license plate number of Sanchez's car and called police, who notified him of the crash.

Alvarez said Sanchez and Valdez then visited her home, promising to repair the SUV.

She told KTLA they were supposed to pick up her vehicle on Thursday, but never showed up.
In the last 12 months, there has been just one homicide recorded in Silver Lake, according to an L.A. Times analysis of homicide data for that period.