Cops: Man Goes on Chainsaw-Wielding Rampage
'He just kind of hit the fan'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2016 1:27 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A witness tells the Daily Breeze that a man at a Southern California tree-trimming company "just kind of hit the fan" Tuesday morning. That's one way of putting it. Another way of putting it: The man allegedly chased his boss around with a chainsaw and tried to run other people over with a utility truck. According to NBC Los Angeles, the out-of-control situation started with the man throwing rocks at a car and doing doughnuts in a utility truck. Police tell KTLA he was trying to run people over. When a security guard tried to calm him down, he allegedly picked up a chainsaw and started chasing his boss around. Other workers filmed the incident with their cellphones, and one can be heard yelling, "He's going to saw someone!"

Police arrived and fired more than two dozen shots at the man, who they say was backing up toward them in the utility truck. The man wasn't hit by any of the bullets but did suffer minor injuries during his alleged rampage. He also allegedly crashed the truck into another vehicle. The incident started as workers were preparing to go out to trim trees around power lines. The owner of the tree-trimming company, who says he was the man's target, tells KTLA the man regularly comes looking for work and is occasionally hired for odd jobs. One worker says the man appeared to be on drugs; another blames "personal problems." The man, who the New York Daily News identifies as 44-year-old Jose Cortez, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.