Man accused in hammer attacks had been high on meth, report says

The man police say went on a hammer-swinging rampage in Boulder City and Henderson had an eerily calm message for one of his victims.

Midway through Friday evening’s random attacks, an arrest report says, Damien Darnell Robins singled out a man walking among dozens of others in a parking lot at Foothill High School. Robins got out of his car and accosted the man, striking him in the head with the one-handed sledgehammer.

The blow knocked the man onto one knee.

When the man turned around to face his attacker, Robins looked him in the eye.

“Sir, I’m sorry but I’m going to kill you; everything will be OK when you’re dead,” he said in an unemotional voice.

It appears a Henderson police patrol car that pulled into the parking lot may have held off more violence. The approaching car distracted Robins, according to the report, and that gave the man enough time to flee.

That man was one of 10 people police say Robins pummeled at random. His wife also told police he had been high on meth in the hours before the attacks.

And he may have had even more violent intentions.

Robins’ wife told officers she hadn’t seen him in three days when he called her about 1 p.m. Friday and said he wanted to meet her at home, according to an arrest report. When he showed up, the woman told police, she said he was agitated and that she could tell he was high on methamphetamine.

It wasn’t uncommon for Robins to “disappear for a few days when he’s high,” his wife said in the report. She said he had also lost his job as an electrician in the days since she had seen him.

Her husband made her fear for her life, the woman told police. Robins refused to let her leave, according to the report. He told her he wanted to “kill her and burn (her) body,” the report said, and later said he “felt like bludgeoning someone” to relieve his aggression.

Her only way out was leaving with him, according to the report. Robins took the woman to a gun store where she filled out the paperwork to a buy a firearm for him.

Robins could not buy a gun himself because he is a felon, police said.

After doing what Robins told her, the couple went back home, police said. The wife persuaded him to let her drive away to pick up their daughter from a baby sitter. In reality, she used the opportunity to drive to a friend’s house and hide.

Police said Robins’ next move started his brutal spree.

About 8 p.m. he battered a woman in a car with the hammer in a convenience store parking lot in Boulder City, police said. He later attacked two older people at an auto parts store parking lot, according to a police report.

In both attacks, according to the report, Robins asked the victims if they were lost as he approached them.

Robins next ran a driver off U.S. Highway 93 then struck the driver several times with the hammer, police said. He drove off and did the same thing to another driver, they said.

The erratic behavior continued after police say Robins drove over the hill into Henderson and onto U.S. Highway 95.

Robins started tailgating a woman driving a Dodge Neon north on U.S. 95 near College Drive, police said. She made a U-turn in an attempt to get away from Robins, but he crossed the median and drove his car head-on into the Neon, according to the report. The driver told police she managed to drive away only after Robins hit her windshield twice with the hammer.

He used his car to cut off and then attack another driver before getting to Foothill, police said.

After he initially hit the man with the hammer at Foothill, police said, the man jumped up and started running. Robins got back in his car and followed, catching up quickly.

As he approached the man, the report said, Robins said, “Sir, I want to let you know everything’s going to be OK, but I’m going to kill you.”

But before Robins could swing the hammer again, something caught his eye. A Henderson police patrol car pulled into the parking lot and headed toward Robins, the report said. He got back in his car and took off.

Robins drove into a neighborhood across from the school and turned off his headlights, the report said. There, Robins pulled in front of a woman and forced her to stop near Cherry Drive and Butch Cassidy Lane.

She told police Robins got out of his car and ran at her shouting, “What did you say?” and began hitting her car with the hammer while repeating the question, the report said.

She threw her car in reverse, police said, but Robins said, “There’s nowhere to go,” and started chasing her on foot. The woman managed to evade Robins.

Police said Robins’ last victim was in the drive-thru at a Taco Bell at 730 E. Horizon Drive. He blocked the drive-thru exit, and attacked the woman’s car before reaching through the driver side window and hitting her with the hammer, police said.

Robins eventually surrendered to police after a pursuit about 9 p.m., when he was confronted by a K-9 officer on Arrow­head Canyon Drive in Henderson.

He kept calm while Boulder City police detectives interviewed him, according to the arrest report. He denied fighting with anyone.

When police asked why they had found a hammer in the passenger seat of his vehicle, the report says, Robins replied, “Well, it’s mine.”

After further prodding, the report says, Robins said: “Well I beat some people up I guess.” When a detective asked why, the man didn’t respond.

Robins, 37, is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on six counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a single count of kidnapping. He is scheduled for a hearing at 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at Boulder City Justice Court.

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead.

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