Woman attacked by man holding machete in middle of California street

Hemet, CA (KCAL/KCBS) — Christine Braun says her car was dented by a man holding a machete in the middle of Hemet street in an apparent random attack.

Braun says she was driving down Acacia Avenue just before 8 p.m. Sunday night when a man suddenly stepped out into the street. Believing it was a homeless person, Braun slowed down.

“He came to me with his arm behind him, and then when I was almost at a complete stop, that’s when he pulled it up,” she said.

She panicked when she saw the machete and tried to drive around the man, who she says hit her SUV as she sped away.

“I was scared, crying,” said Braun. “I pulled up down the road and called 911 immediately.”

Police had received other calls from drivers in the area reporting a man had been kicking cars and trying to carjack drivers.

They eventually tracked down 18-year-old Jason Peterson about a mile from the scene and found a concealed blade on him. Police also arrested Michael Martinez, 25, who they say was with Peterson and threw a brick at another car.

Both men are facing felony charges.

Investigators have not released a motive for the attacks, but Braun says police told her both men were under the influence.

“They said [the men were] so drunk they don’t even know if they understood what they were doing,” she said.

Braun – who recently moved out of the area due to what she says was a rise in crime – says she’s glad the men were arrested and will be more cautious in the future.

“Always drive with your doors locked and your windows up,” she said.

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