15-year-old boy arrested in connection with hammer attack that left three teens injured, one critically


A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a home-invasion robbery in Northern California in which three teens were brutally beaten with a hammer, leaving one with a severe skull fracture, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.

The Watsonville teenager was taken into custody and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, Sgt. Brian Cleveland said Friday. The teen was not identified because he is a minor.

Investigators are still searching for others believed to be involved in the attack, Cleveland said.


“We’re hopeful that we’ll identify them all and make arrests,” he said.

The assault occurred early Monday in the 100 block of Monte Vista Drive, a cul-de-sac in Aptos, an unincorporated community.

The boys were having a sleepover and were inside a converted garage room when a group of masked robbers broke in and attacked them with a hammer; at least two were asleep when it happened, according to Cleveland and the mother of one of the boys.

The robbers took items from the room and fled in a vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The injured boys were taken to hospitals. Two received medical treatment and were released. The third teen was taken to a trauma center for a severe skull fracture, according to a GoFundMe account that was created to help raise money for the teen and his family.


The boy, identified as Alex by family, was placed in a medically induced coma after having multiple seizures while being taken to the hospital. As of Friday afternoon, he was in stable condition, said his mother, Carly Todisco, 39.

Todisco said hours before the attack the boys were playing video games in the room.

“This is the safest neighborhood in the world,” said Suzanne Nickel, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1970s. “It’s so out of left field. Everybody is appalled by what happened.”

Nickel said she was happy to hear an arrest had been made.

“I feel relief, and I’ll feel more relief when they arrest the others,” Nickel said. “I’ll feel even more relief when Alex is out of the hospital.”

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