A Pleasanton man attacked and left for dead over the weekend remained in critical condition today as police focused their search on local high school students as the likely attackers.
No arrests in the beating of David Lamont, 51, had yet been made. Lamont was found unconscious outside his home early Saturday after police received a 911 call. He remained in a coma as of press time.
Lamont was attacked outside his home on Middleton Place, a cul-de-sac where neighbors said teens occasionally park at night.
"Officers learned the resident had come out of his house to confront some juveniles who were making some noise," said Police Sgt. Maria Munayer.
The department has "credible leads," and interviewed "several involved parties who are currently persons of interest," Munayer said.
Police have interviewed students "at both our local high schools," she said.
The investigation "has been narrowed down to people who are high school age," Munayer said. She said the department has witnesses, but would not comment on whether they were passengers in the SUV spotted leaving the scene, or if the focus had been narrowed down to one high school in particular.
Munayer is hoping Lamont will come out of his coma to provide a statement.
Asked about potential charges for those involved, she said, "until we can piece together what actually happened, it's too soon to say."
Neighbor Carolyn DeFeo said she'd been told by Lamont's wife that a group of boys and girls were outside the family's home when he was attacked.
"There was an argument," DeFeo said. "He was knuckle punched or sucker punched."
She said Lamont fell over, and that "the kids panicked and left our neighbor on the side of the road. He was unconscious."
DeFeo said he suffered from a fractured skull and had teeth knocked out.
"He's in bad shape and we're hoping he will stabilize and get better," she said.
Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, was just arriving home around the time of the attack.
"I saw a copper-colored or golden car coming down the street," the young man said. "At the time, I didn't think too much about it."
He added that the vehicle he saw was an SUV and that he saw the silhouette of the driver and movement in it was well.
Ten to 15 minutes later, he said, "I saw a fire truck followed by a police car, followed by another police car, followed by an ambulance."
While police were at the scene, the neighbor said he also saw a black Mercedes SUV go partway up the street, then turn around and leave.
"It made a U-turn halfway up the street," he said.
Middleton Place is one of several cul-de-sacs off Hopkins Way in the undeveloped hills southeast of Mission Hills Park near Sunol Boulevard. Neighbors said teens use the dead end as a place to gather, especially since a parking spot nearby has been blocked off to cars. The cul-de-sac also has access to the ridge and fields that run behind the Lamont's home.
"It's stupid, how easily it could have been avoided, how it escalated. It was so unnecessary," said a neighbor. "All they had to do was get in the car and leave."
Lamont is the father of two teenagers, one in college and one a freshman at Foothill High School.
His wife, Agnes Lamont, and the couple's two teenage daughters have stayed by his side at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, praying he will come out of his coma.
Agnes, in a statement to the Pleasanton Weekly early Wednesday, said the community is rallying around her and her family. She thanked "both friends and previous strangers," and asked for prayers for her husband.
"Our community has brought on miracles before and we need one now," Agnes Lamont said.
"Hopefully parents take stock and embrace a culture of respect, compassion, integrity and responsibility, rather than paying them lip service as slogans on our school walls," she said. "It's our jobs, as parents, to provide a moral compass to our children, and keep them within 50 feet after 11 p.m. "
Police said they'd received help from community members, but are continuing to ask anyone with additional information to come forward.
The school district has an anonymous tip line, 417-5199, that does not track numbers and that accepts both voice and text messages. Those with information may also call the Pleasanton Police Department at 931-5100.