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Carlsbad beachcomber got too close to their property

Thrown to sand with metal detector

A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul.
A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul.

A 70-year-old Carlsbad resident said he was attacked by a stranger when he was beachcombing earlier this month.

Paul, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, said he was alone the morning of July 5 about 8:30 a.m., when a man he did not know was suddenly near. “He was in my face, like that,” Paul put his own hand close to the front of his face, a few inches away. “It was just a wild look he had, like he was crazy.”

The stranger had long, shaggy blonde hair and a full beard which reached to his chest. The man looked like a vagrant, like one of the people Paul had noticed reclined on a bedspread on the beach with some other men. Paul believed the scruffy group had spent the night there. “They seemed encamped.” Paul said there were booze bottles around.

The gray-haired man said he had been walking the sandy beach with his metal detector, looking for buried goodies, and he wore earphones to hear the hum of the metal detector. The man who allegedly confronted him, David Grant Robertson, 42, is described in Sheriff’s records as 6 feet 2 inches tall and 180 pounds.

“He said, ‘What the eff are you doing?’ He said it twice,” Paul testified in court this week.

“It just startled me. I didn’t respond because I wasn’t sure what kind of answer he wanted. I just feared that next thing I knew he was going to punch me or something.” Paul said he swung his scoop, a metal strainer at the end of a long wooden handle which he normally drags behind him, in front of himself, trying to block the stranger. That was not successful. “And that’s when all hell broke loose.”

“He grabbed my scoop.” Paul said the wild-eyed man grabbed the wooden handle of his scoop at the same time that he shoved Paul to the sand.

A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul while the older man was on his back on the beach, those images were entered into evidence in court. That woman’s husband helped another bystander to pull the tall, bearded man off Paul.

The elderly man said he took blows to his arm and knee and head. The bump on his head was so big his wife insisted he should go to Urgent Care, at Kaiser Hospital in San Marcos. “The doctor just told me to take Tylenol,” Paul said.

Carlsbad police officer Matt Bowen testified that the encampment of men complained to him that the elderly beachcomber got too near “their property which was displayed on the beach.” The beach recliners found this “provoking.”

David Grant Robertson, 42, was ordered to answer two felony charges, one assault and one harm to elder, in court on July 24 2017. Robertson pleads not-guilty to all charges and is held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Vista detention facility in Northern San Diego County, California.

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A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul.
A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul.

A 70-year-old Carlsbad resident said he was attacked by a stranger when he was beachcombing earlier this month.

Paul, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, said he was alone the morning of July 5 about 8:30 a.m., when a man he did not know was suddenly near. “He was in my face, like that,” Paul put his own hand close to the front of his face, a few inches away. “It was just a wild look he had, like he was crazy.”

The stranger had long, shaggy blonde hair and a full beard which reached to his chest. The man looked like a vagrant, like one of the people Paul had noticed reclined on a bedspread on the beach with some other men. Paul believed the scruffy group had spent the night there. “They seemed encamped.” Paul said there were booze bottles around.

The gray-haired man said he had been walking the sandy beach with his metal detector, looking for buried goodies, and he wore earphones to hear the hum of the metal detector. The man who allegedly confronted him, David Grant Robertson, 42, is described in Sheriff’s records as 6 feet 2 inches tall and 180 pounds.

“He said, ‘What the eff are you doing?’ He said it twice,” Paul testified in court this week.

“It just startled me. I didn’t respond because I wasn’t sure what kind of answer he wanted. I just feared that next thing I knew he was going to punch me or something.” Paul said he swung his scoop, a metal strainer at the end of a long wooden handle which he normally drags behind him, in front of himself, trying to block the stranger. That was not successful. “And that’s when all hell broke loose.”

“He grabbed my scoop.” Paul said the wild-eyed man grabbed the wooden handle of his scoop at the same time that he shoved Paul to the sand.

A woman passerby used her cell phone to catch images of the tall man swinging at Paul while the older man was on his back on the beach, those images were entered into evidence in court. That woman’s husband helped another bystander to pull the tall, bearded man off Paul.

The elderly man said he took blows to his arm and knee and head. The bump on his head was so big his wife insisted he should go to Urgent Care, at Kaiser Hospital in San Marcos. “The doctor just told me to take Tylenol,” Paul said.

Carlsbad police officer Matt Bowen testified that the encampment of men complained to him that the elderly beachcomber got too near “their property which was displayed on the beach.” The beach recliners found this “provoking.”

David Grant Robertson, 42, was ordered to answer two felony charges, one assault and one harm to elder, in court on July 24 2017. Robertson pleads not-guilty to all charges and is held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Vista detention facility in Northern San Diego County, California.

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