An unemployed Redwood City man was found psychologically competent to stand trial Wednesday and will face charges for allegedly smashing an 18-month-old boy’s head with a rock in a seemingly random act of violence.
Jose Rivera Salvador, 22, allegedly approached the boy and his mother on April 20 at a bus stop at Sequoia Station in Redwood City and struck the boy in the back of his head with a rock that was “the size of a softball,” prosecutors said. Salvador did not know the victim or the victim’s mother, according to prosecutors.
Salvador then dropped the rock, said prosecutors, and walked away without speaking as the mother screamed hysterically over the boy, who was bleeding heavily. Salvador was tracked down shortly thereafter and arrested by the sheriff’s transit unit at Sequoia Station. The boy required extensive sutures before his release from Stanford Hospital.
Salvador appeared in court Wednesday for examination results. Defense attorney Eric Hove, who declined comment, had previously requested an examination into Salvador’s mental state, and two doctors were undecided over whether Salvador was mentally fit for trial. A third doctor, Dr. Howard Fenn, found him competent.
A preliminary hearing date has been set for Sept. 4. He is in custody on $100,000 bail.
On April 24, Salvador pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury on a child. He faces up to 10 years in state prison. In 2004, he pled guilty to assault, in which he received two years probation.
Family members of the victim and suspect were not present Wednesday.