Suspect attacked victim with no prior argument, KCSO says

The Kern County Sheriff's office has released new details about an assault in the oilfields near Derby Acres Tuesday morning about 11 a.m..

The victim, now identified as Bobby Fitts, was attacked from behind while he was searching for a lost cell phone, Kern County Sheriff's Public Information officer Ray Pruitt said.

A suspect, identified as Michael Atkison, struck Fitts with no apparent warning.

“As he was searching for the phone a co-worker, 46 year old Michael Atkison, approached Fitts from behind holding a large pipe wrench,” Pruitt said in a written press release sent out Wednesday afternoon. “Atkison then struck Fitts on the back of the head causing a severe injury as Fitts was bent over searching for his phone. The witnesses indicated there did not appear to be any confrontation between Fitts and Atkison prior to the assault.”

Reports from the scene indicated Fitts suffered an open skull fracture.

Pruitt said the suspect brandished the 24-inch pipe wrench at the coworkers, then fled in a work truck.

Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect but were unable to locate him.

Then, about 5:30 p.m., deputies received a report of a suspicious person at the Buena Vista Golf Course.
Deputies arrived and identified the suspicious man as Atkison and arrested him.

Deputies found the vehicle parked on a dirt road about five miles south of the golf course. Deputies located a large pipe wrench in the bed of the pickup and seized it as evidence, however it is unknown if it is the wrench used in the assault.

Atkison was later booked into the Kern County Jail. His bail has been set at $50,000.