Court records indicate a Saugus man believed to be dealing with mental health issues stands accused of several felony assaults with a hearing Friday inside the courthouse for L.A. County Superior Court’s Mental Health Division in Hollywood.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel investigated Saul Estrada, a 31-year-old man who lives with family members in Saugus, after a series of felony assault allegations that resulted in no injuries.
However, a series of reports of incidents that could have ended much worse prompted detectives to present charges that were filed by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 7.
Estrada is now facing what’s known as a “1368 PC competency hearing” Friday in Department 103 at the Hollywood courthouse, according to Venusse Dunn, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
Estrada is facing seven charges in connection with a series of alleged assaults that started in October, according to court records.
During the first incident, deputies were called to Estrada’s home after his mother called to report she was concerned about her son’s behavior with a knife, according to a report of that incident presented to the court.
“Once at the front porch, the front door suddenly opened. And the suspect emerged from inside the residence,” the detective’s report stated, adding the defendant was holding a nearly 3-foot sword secured in a sheath.
The suspect refused several commands and then unsheathed the sword, putting it over his head in a threatening manner, the report states.
Deputies were called out to the same address on Seco Canyon Road on Veterans Day, after deputies received a report of an assault with a deadly weapon involving the suspect and his stepfather.
In the Nov. 11 incident, the suspect allegedly was holding knives in each hand and lunged at his stepfather, resulting in a small puncture wound, but ultimately, Estrada had fled the home prior to deputies’ arrival.
Eleven days later, deputies responded to a local sports bar about a half-mile from Estrada’s home where the manager recognized Estrada from previous encounters. The suspect allegedly threatened the manager and chased him back toward his restaurant, according to the manager’s account in the court report.
The manager identified the suspect on Dec. 5 and filed a report with station officials, which prompted the DA’s filing.
That day, deputies also served a search warrant at the residence where Estrada lives and seized a variety of tools that could be used as weapons, including hatchets and several folding knives, according to an inventory of their search.
At Friday’s competency hearing, a judge may decide on whether Estrada is capable of assisting in his own defense, schedule a future hearing date or order additional assessment of the case and defendant.
His charges are five felony counts, including assault with a deadly weapon — not a firearm — and criminal threats, as well as two misdemeanor charges alleging that he exhibited a deadly weapon.