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Bartender attacked with hammer; suspect arrested

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Suspect: 30 year-old Matthew Alcala Suspect: 30 year-old Matthew Alcala
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A valley bartender was brutally attacked while on the job -- hit on the head with a hammer.  The victim, Jamell, was seriously hurt and remains hospitalized. 

He said the man first asked for cigarettes and a dollar, Ortega escorted the man outside.

The victim was counting cash, then walked back to the rear of the bar to the office where the safe is located.  That's when he was attacked with a hammer.  It's tough to see in the video, but he opened the closet to get a mop to defend himself while holding his injured head.

The suspect, 30 year-old Matthew Alcala, was arrested by police when he came back to the bar Thursday afternoon.

After the attacker took off, you could see two coworkers caring for Jamell as he continued to hold his head.

Jamell is recovering at home after being treated at the hospital for a fractured skull.

"I don't know if he was on drugs, if he was hateful, if he was out to get money, or was there to damage the bar. I have no idea what his point was, whatever it was it was senseless, it didn't have to happen," said Jamell Ortega.

He's well-known in the gay community as singer Dianna K. Shane.  His coworkers believe the suspect scoped out the bar near 32nd Street and McDowell before returning to attack Tuesday night.

"I guess he must have seen the past Tuesday.. and seen there was money coming in or something, so just wanted to come in and take it I guess," said Phillip Marez, a bartender at ICE Pics Video Bar.

"Why would somebody be so callous, I mean, if he just went a little further it would have killed me, less than 2 fingers width away, that part is very scary," said Ortega.

The bar where he works held fundraisers on August 9 to help Jamell with recovery.
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