Man arrested in sledge hammer attack, auto theft pleads not guilty 

The man initially charged with striking an acquaintance with a sledge hammer before stealing the victim's vehicle pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Aaron Hanna, 26, of Pleasanton, reportedly was in a car with an acquaintance on Sunday after the two had shared a meal together, prosecutors said. When the vehicle began to experience mechanical problems, they pulled into a Chevron station in the 800 block of North Delaware Street.

While the victim, a 30-year-old man from San Bruno, was looking under the hood, Hanna is alleged to have struck the victim in the back of the neck. Police originally said Hanna had struck the victim with a sledge hammer, but prosecutors said the defendant struck the victim with a "large rusted metal cylinder that he had found lying on the ground."

The victim was able to move just as he was being struck, and only received "a glancing blow to the neck," prosecutors said.

Hanna is then alleged to have taken possession of the victim's car, a black Honda Accord, and fleeing the scene. The victim unsuccessfully attempted to regain possession of his car before he called police.

Hanna was reportedly located and arrested a short time later in San Bruno.

Hanna pleaded not guilty to charges related to carjacking, auto theft and assault with a deadly weapon. He is currently in custody on $150,000 bail and will return to court March 17.

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