Man accused of attacking Davenport jogger with hammer charged with attempted murder

 A man is charged with second-degree attempted murder and kidnapping after investigators said he attacked a female jogger in Polk County.

Frederick Whitten, 58, is accused of trying to kill a jogger on Thursday morning as he was driving his red pickup truck along Old Lake Wilson Road.

"He said that he hit her. It was an accident. He reached down to pick up his cup of coffee and he hit the victim doing about 35 to 45 mph," Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Whitten then walked over to the victim, Maria Infante, who was on the ground.

"Sits down on her legs and begins to hit her on the head with a hammer. Her screaming goes on. She wrestles the hammer away from him and throws it down," Judd said.

Infante, 43, had a fractured leg, but still managed to limp over to grab Whitten's keys so he couldn't drive off.

Whitten stalked Infante and bumped her off the road on purpose, according to Judd.

"His intentions were quote, ‘My intention was to shut her up and I didn't want to be charged with hit-and-run,'" Judd said.
 
According to Judd, Whitten's attorney said he does not have a criminal history or mental health problems and he's a married man. Whitten's attorney said his client did nothing wrong.

"He was trying to help the girl trying to tell her she needed to go to the hospital. He was saying, ‘Let me help you, let me get you into [my] truck. She didn't understand what she was saying she mistook his actions for something sinister.' But the judge says, ‘Well according to her he was trying to help her by choking her and choking her to the point of unconsciousness,'" Judd said.

Sheriff Judd said they're looking for man who was also in a red pickup truck. He helped the victim, but then drove off.

"We need to know what he saw that's important," Judd said.

Judd also asked if anyone else saw the attack on Thursday morning to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

"In his own terminology, ‘I got my butt beat by a woman.' But what Maria did is fight back and we believe that's why she's alive today," Judd said.

 Sheriff Judd believes there could be something deeper and darker involving the suspect.



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