Sword-wielding man allegedly attacks wife in Los Osos, leading to school lockdown

The scene in Los Osos on Tuesday afternoon as deputies prepared to arrest 36-year-old Charles Guenther.
The scene in Los Osos on Tuesday afternoon as deputies prepared to arrest 36-year-old Charles Guenther.

A woman was hospitalized with slash wounds to her hands and body after fending off her samurai sword-wielding husband Tuesday afternoon in Los Osos, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office.

Twenty sheriff’s deputies responded to the 600 block of Los Osos Valley Road, where the alleged assault is believed to have occurred, after the injured woman drove herself to a local hospital saying she had been attacked with a sword and threatened with a pistol by her husband, said Tony Cipolla, Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Her husband, 36-year-old Charles Haig Guenther, was still in the home when deputies arrived just after noon. Deputies and other personnel prepared for a possible standoff, believing Guenther might be armed and dangerous.

Without making their presence known, sheriff’s personnel assembled a SWAT team along with armored vehicles a block away from the house as a CHP helicopter hovered overhead.

Guenther surrendered willingly and was arrested around 2:40 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was taken to a local hospital with injuries to his leg, which investigators believe he suffered when his wife tried to defend herself, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

It is unknown whether the victim, whose name is not being released, remains hospitalized. She was also wounded on her legs and abdomen.

Guenther has no reported history of domestic violence, Cipolla said.

Guenther was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on Tuesday evening on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. He's being held in lieu of $750,000 bail. Authorities plan to charge him with attempted murder, Cipolla said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ismael Lopez, 29, who lives one door away from the home on Los Osos Valley Road, said he didn’t really know the couple but that they were quiet and always waved hello.

Nearby Monarch Grove Elementary School in Los Osos was put on lockdown Tuesday afternoon by the Sheriff’s Office as a precautionary move, said Sgt. Stuart MacDonald. The school at 348 Los Osos Valley Road was locked down just after 1 p.m. and reopened around 3:30 p.m.