Accused neck slasher too sick for court

A Moss Beach man accused of sawing his high school sweetheart’s neck with a serrated knife in their mobile home on Dec. 2 missed his court date for a sixth time Tuesday because he was not medically well enough to show up.

David Vanalstine, 56, allegedly left a 10-centimeter-long laceration across his girlfriend's neck when she returned from work to the Pillar Ridge mobile home park, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

He “came from his room, pulled out a knife, held her down on the couch by her hair and began sawing at her neck with the serrated knife,” Wagstaffe said.

Vanalstine allegedly stopped attacking his girlfriend when the victim’s friend arrived, Wagstaffe said. The girlfriend, who was losing a ton of blood, then grabbed the phone, ran outside and called 911, he said.

She was transported to Stanford Hospital, where she underwent surgery, Wagstaffe said.

”(Her injury) was at first believed to be potentially life threatening, but after receiving treatment she is expected to make a full recovery,” San Mateo County Sheriff's Sgt. Linda Gibbons said.

Vanalstine was taken into custody at the scene, but then rushed to the hospital with medical problems unrelated to the alleged attack, Gibbons said.

The sheriff's department is not releasing the nature of his medical condition. The jail’s nurses would not clear him for Tuesday’s felony arraignment, which was continued to Jan. 7.

Vanalstine faces multiple felony charges, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors say Vanalstine’s motive for the gruesome attack may have been connected to a DUI criminal case that was resolved Nov. 29.

His 55-year-old girlfriend called cops reporting that he had been driving while intoxicated, Wagstaffe said.

The couple had dated in high school, but later reconnected and had been sharing a home in Pillar Ridge mobile home park for the last three years, he said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Supes move to reject Breed’s picks for police oversight body, call for strong reformers

Ronen, Mar cite qualification concerns in voting against Police Commission nominees

SF public defender urges police to explicitly bar technique used in George Floyd death

Public Defender Manohar Raju is calling for policy changes after a widely… Continue reading

Protesters turn out Sunday in San Francisco for second day in a row

“To me, it’s everyone’s breaking point,” said Chris Jackson, who handed out water to fellow demonstrators.

Businesses slam proposed COVID-19 worker rehire law as too ‘burdensome’

Supervisor Mar’s legislation would require employers to take back staff at same pay

Curfew to remain in effect Monday night in SF; dozens arrested from Sunday protests

Police chief estimates as many as 6,000 took part in demonstrations

Most Read