Mental health hearing set for transient accused of choking jogger



A mental health court update has been scheduled for a man accused of choking a jogger during an incident that happened a little more than a year ago.

Colton Ford, 30, described by the deputies who arrested him as a transient living in the Santa Clara River wash, is charged with one count of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder.

His mental health was questioned in April and, on Thursday, was still called into question.

The status of Ford’s mental health is now scheduled to be updated for the court on Feb. 6, 2019, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

The alleged attack happened shortly after 8:20 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2017,  when a woman jogging on the bike path in Valencia near the post office on McBean Parkway was attacked.

Ford allegedly grabbed her and began to strangle her until she became unconscious, Santiago said in a news release issued last fall.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the incident, provided medical aid to the woman and took her to the hospital.

Shortly after the arrest, Capt. Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station provided details about the incident at a City Council meeting.

“Two Good Samaritans who actually came to her rescue, held on to the suspect for deputies,” Lewis told council members.

Lewis, at the time, said the suspect had arrived in the SCV from Orange County in early 2017 and that he had been arrested on four Proposition 47 charges prior.

“This individual is a Prop. 47 individual,” he said. “Eight hours into the investigation, we are now looking at an attempted murder charge.”

Arrest documents show that Ford was arrested in the SCV June 20, 2017, on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Prop 47 – also called the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act – reduced about two dozen nonviolent felonies such as shoplifting and drug possession to misdemeanors which, typically, carry less jail time, if any jail time at all.

Californians voted in favor of the Proposition 47 ballot measure in November 2014.

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