Homicide of 61-year-old man reported in Atwater

April 29, 2013 

A 61-year-old man was killed Sunday evening in Atwater after allegedly being attacked by a machete-wielding assailant, police reported.

One suspect has been arrested in the case.

Police responded to a report of a stabbing at 5:15 p.m. at 1501 Valencia Way, according to Lt. Samuel Joseph. Officers found the victim, identified as Joseph McDonald, suffering from severe lacerations to the right side of his neck and both arms. The victim, who couldn't communicate with officers, was taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced, where he died.

During their investigation, police found a machete they believe was tossed by the attacker as he fled the crime scene. A witness provided detectives with the first name of a possible suspect. The suspect was also seen leaving the scene in a burgundy 1993 Chevy pickup with a chrome roller bar and off-road lights, Joseph said.

Police identified Antonio Cruz Guzman, 30, who resided at a 5200 Crest Road trailer park, as a suspect.

Police spoke with Guzman's wife, who consented to a search of the residence. Police arrived and told Guzman to show his hands, but he failed to comply with the officers' orders and had to be subdued with a Taser, according to Joseph.

Detectives said they located the suspect's truck, which had blood on the steering wheel.

Police said they are still working to determine the motive in the case. Guzman was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of murder.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

McDonald's death is the 10th homicide reported in Merced County this year.

-- Sun-Star staff

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