Oak View man survives New Year’s Day attack in Ojai in an apparent attempted murder
By Lenny Roberts
According to his father, it’s a classic example of wrong place, wrong time.
Fresno resident Jerry Powers said Monday his 27-year-old son, Oak View resident Joshua Ray Powers, was left for dead in the 200 block of Waite Street at 1:30 a.m. News Year’s Day after being stabbed 17 times about his side and back. “They sliced both sides of his shoulder blades down to bone. They were trying to cut his spinal cord,” the elder Powers alleged.
The victim, a former local forestry worker and Ojai resident, had recently returned to the valley after working construction in New York until about a month ago. He and his wife, who works at a local restaurant, just learned they are parents-to-be, according to Jerry Powers.
“He was walking home from party with a friend,” Powers said. But the victim soon found himself alone when the friend was given a ride just before the attack. “He isn’t real clear on what happened. By the grace of God, someone passed by and saw a body laying in the gutter. He would have bled to death.”
According to the police report, the victim was transported by ambulance to the Ojai Valley Community Hospital in critical condition.
Notified of the attack by a relative, Powers made the four-hour trip from Fresno and was initially told by hospital officials his son would spend three to four weeks in the hospital because of his extensive injuries. Powers arrived to see his son in a drug-induced coma.
His prognosis improved on Sunday, however, and, according to the senior Powers, he was taken off the coma-inducing drugs and was able to walk to the bathroom with his father’s help.
Sheriff’s Special Services Commander and former Ojai Police Chief Gary Pentis said Tuesday there was not much information in the case and the public’s help is needed. “It was a vicious attack with in excess of 13 stab wounds, and it appears to be an attempted murder,” Pentis said.
Anyone with information related to this incident is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 646-1414.
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 494-TALK.