Crime

Hallucinating Man High On Meth Attacks Family He Believes Kidnapped His Nephew

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A transient man high on methamphetamine was hallucinating when he terrorized a California family and attempted to stab a man with a metal stake, according to authorities in Los Angeles County.

Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez, 37, was charged with suspicion of attempted murder and burglary.

Jimenez was walking down a Covina street Saturday when he thought he heard his nephew crying out from a nearby house. When he inspected the home he found Tony Berdeguez, his wife Joanna Berdeguez, and their son inside.

"You're having coffee with your family at the breakfast table, and some guy loaded on meth just walks right into your living room and starts threatening to kill you," Tony Berdeguez told KABC-TV.

"It was like watching the devil walk in, because the look on his face it was horrifying," said Joanna Berdeguez.

“He walked into their home and asked to search their home,” Covina Police Lt. Ric Walczak said. “He began looking around. Then he left for a short period of time.”

Jimenez left, and the family locked their doors."

“He came back,” Walczak said. “He kicked in the front door. He had armed himself with a metal garage sale sign stake. He began chasing the father around the inside of the residence, attempting to stab him with the stake.”

"I tried reasoning with him,” Tony Berdeguez said, “and when he started to walk down the hallway and start hallucinating that there was people with guns in the hallway, that's when I took advantage of the situation and ran out the back door and we barricaded ourselves in the garage.”

Unsuccessful, Jimenez smashed several windows and left. Arrested nearby, he reportedly admitted to police that he had been high on meth.

No one was injured during the incident.

"It gives you a different perspective on life and safety of your own home," said their son, Marco. "You don't feel as safe anymore and it's just hard to get that comfort back in your own house."

Jimenez is being held in leiu of $1.05 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

Sources: San Gabriel Vallery TribuneKABC-TV