OXNARD : Suspect Charged in Hammer Attack

Charges of assault with a deadly weapon and auto theft were filed Tuesday against a 525-pound Oxnard man accused of severely beating his mother with a hammer.

David Bell, 26, pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned in Ventura County Municipal Court.

He is being held in Ventura County Jail with bail set at $5,000, provided he has no contact with his mother upon release.

A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 30.


Oxnard police said Bell, who is 6 feet, 5 inches, attacked his mother Thursday as she was sitting in the living room of her Oxnard home.

He approached her from behind and struck her repeatedly in the head with a hammer, police said.

The two had argued about a television set, said Police Sgt. Denny Phillips.

David Bell had pawned the set in the past, and his father had retrieved it.


The son was trying to pawn it again, Phillips said.

Phillips said David Bell told investigators that he “flipped out, or blacked out” when he attacked his mother.

He then fled in his mother’s car, taking the television set and a kitchen knife.

He was arrested at 5 a.m. Friday as he left an Oxnard residence that police had under surveillance.


Clarrissa Bell, while bleeding profusely, managed to call her husband at work, Phillips said.

He came home immediately and called an ambulance.

She was admitted to St. John’s Regional Medical Center with severe head and arm injuries.

She was listed in good condition Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.


Tuesday evening, Clarrissa Bell’s husband, Ezra Bell, said she did not want to press charges against her son.

He called it a “family affair.”

Police were unable to handcuff David Bell because of his size, Phillips said.

He is so large, Phillips said, that he sleeps on a mattress on the floor.