Renn Camdon Hartman

DEEP CREEK LAKE — A 29-year-old man was assaulted and seriously injured late Wednesday by two masked suspects who reportedly plotted the attack and then waited for him to return to his residence.

The victim suffered "serious lacerations to his head and face" in the incident that reportedly occurred at about 10:30 p.m. in the 20000 block of Garrett Highway, according to the Garrett County Sheriff's Office. 

The victim was transported to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for initial treatment and was later transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. Police declined to release his condition. 

Investigators with the sheriff's office determined the suspects — identified as Renn Camdon Hartman, 19, and Elijah Dennis Dalton, a 17-year-old charged as an adult — had traveled to the victim's residence along U.S. Route 219 where "they waited for him to return."

Evidence collected showed the victim was assaulted with a sledgehammer outside the door of his residence and then dragged inside, police said.

Following the attack, the victim "managed to get to a neighbor's house for help," according to the sheriff's office.

Hartman and Dalton, both of Mountain Lake Park, were each charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit attempted murder and assault. 

Both remained jailed without bond Thursday at the Garrett County Detention Center, pending their next court appearances.

The incident reportedly occurred not long after the victim had walked out of his place of employment with a co-worker, who reportedly was a former girlfriend of Hartman, according to court documents.

Investigation determined Hartman and Dalton placed glue on the victim's door mechanism to delay his entry. The attack began when Dalton allegedly struck the victim in the face and Hartman then struck him from behind with the sledgehammer, court documents said.

Hartman reportedly provided black jeans and a hoodie that Dalton put on a short time before the alleged attack and while at Hartman's residence in Mountain Lake Park.

Hartman and Dalton as a passenger then drove to the vicinity of the victim's residence where Hartman pulled a hunting mask from a duffle bag for Dalton to wear to cover his face but not his eyes. He also reportedly provided latex gloves to Dalton, according to court filings.

Hartman reportedly wore a "Halloween-style mask that was described as the 'clown off of Twisted Metal'," according to the court records. 

Police obtained a warrant to search Hartman's vehicle and residence.

Authorities reportedly found the clown mask and a hoodie with "burrs" in the woods near the victim's residence during the search along with blood on the passenger door handle of Hartman's vehicle that police said was used to travel to and from the location of the alleged assault. 

The investigation included recovery of the victim's cellphone that reportedly was thrown into nearby woods.

CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS, ctn@times-news.com

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