COVELO — At around 2:30 AM on June 27th, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies received word that a physical assault victim was en route from Covelo to Frank Howard Hospital via ambulance.
Deputies met with said ambulance on Highway 162 and were able to obtain a short statement from the victim. 33-year-old Michael Alvarez was walking home on Henderson Road when he was verbally accosted by 18-year-old Kenneth Whipple, with whom he was familiar from prior contact. Whipple then physically assaulted Alvarez without provocation, knocking him to the ground and evidently striking him in the head.
Alvarez awoke later and began to crawl down the road when a motorist stopped to help, shortly thereafter taking Alvarez to his home and and notifying medical personnel due to the severity of his injuries. He was later transported to a hospital in the Santa Rosa area with life-threatening head trauma.
Detectives learned that Alvarez was expected to survive but would require surgery for facial injuries sustained during the assault.
That same day, sometime in the late afternoon, Whipple turned himself in. He was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked on the charge of battery with serious bodily injury, but later released on $30,000 bail.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.