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San Mateo, CA Police Department
Wednesday May 31st, 2023 :: 09:20 a.m. PDT


SMPD Makes Attempted Homicide by Hammer Arrest

For Immediate Release No. 20230531-029
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

SMPD Makes Attempted Homicide by Hammer Arrest
San Mateo, CA - On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at approximately 2:31 p.m., a community member called SMPD Dispatch to report a suspect hit a victim with a hammer and fled the scene at the unit block of North San Mateo Drive. SMPD officers quickly arrived on scene and located a 34-year-old male victim on the sidewalk with severe head trauma. Later, the victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

SMPD launched an investigation. Officers learned a contractor hired the suspect, later identified as Joaquin Morales, to work on a residence located at the unit block of N. San Mateo Drive. As the victim and his mother walked southbound on N. San Mateo Dr., Morales ran towards the victim and hit the victim in the back of the head. After Morales initially struck the victim, Morales struck the victim an additional two times while the victim was unconscious on the ground. Morales stole his employer’s vehicle and fled the scene. 

SMPD officers continued the investigation. Officers learned the victim and the suspect did not know each other and the attack was unprovoked. An officer located Morales near the intersection of 4th Avenue and South Fremont Street. The officer attempted to detain Morales, but Morales fled on foot.  Morales quickly gave up flight and officers safely arrested Morales. Officer immediately observed objective symptoms that indicated Morales was under the influence of a controlled substance, so they called medics to the scene to treat Morales. Prior to being transported to the hospital for treatment, two witnesses identified Morales as the individual who attacked the victim. After Morales was medically cleared and released from the hospital, he was booked into San Mateo County Jail for attempted murder, unlawful taking or driving a vehicle, resisting arrest, and two outstanding warrants out of Santa Clara County.  

Remember, “If you see something, say something.” We’re encouraging our community to utilize security cameras.  They are especially helpful identifying suspicious activity in neighborhoods when cameras are street facing. Our officers regularly canvass for surveillance and you can help by notifying SMPD where cameras are located in your neighborhood at
Joaquin Morales, a 41-year-old San Jose resident
Charges: Attempted homicide (664/187 PC), unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle (10851(A) CVC), and resisting arrest (148(a)(1) PC)
Alison Gilmore
Public Information Officer | Support Services
City of San Mateo Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy, San Mateo, CA 94403
650-522-7626 | [email protected]

San Mateo, CA Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy
San Mateo, CA 94403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-522-7700

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