‘He survived, but barely’: Father of ax attack victim searches for assailants

Crime Watch

Just days after 29-year-old Nick Tallant was assaulted with a hand axe in Oildale, his father speaks out in search of the assailants. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is still trying to find out who’s responsible. He was assaulted early Sunday morning at the corner of Norris Road and Oildale Drive while walking a woman home from a bar . Two assailants tried to steal her purse and Nick Tallant fought back, allowing her to escape. One attacker drew a hatchet and struck Tallant repeatedly, severing multiple arteries. His father remembers the moment he found out.

“For him to still survive is pretty remarkable,” said Tim Tallant. “When you hear that one of your kids has been hacked with an ax time after time and left for dead, you can’t breathe.”

Nick Tallant raised his arms to defend himself, narrowly escaping death. His father says he was struck seven or eight times with the ax. He sustained injuries on his arms, neck, face and legs.

“Left arm was almost severed at the elbow. They hit him so hard with the ax it stuck into his bone,” Tim Tallant said. “So my son says if ‘I’m gonna live, I’m gonna hold onto this ax so he can’t hit me again with it.’”

Doctors told the family that if he lost more blood, he would not have survived the night. After the ax attack the two suspects kicked Nick Tallant in the head several times, rendering him unconscious. Shortly after, he ran to a house across the street for help but was denied. The homeowner reportedly slammed the door in his face. He ran down the street in search of help before collapsing on the side of the road soon. By this point he had sustained massive blood loss. Luckily, a driver spotted him on the road and pulled over to call 911.

“He survived, but barely,” Tim Tallant said. “Anyone who knew him would have gave the shirt off their back for him. Luckily my son is stronger than what they thought.”

Tallant is safe and recovering at home after undergoing a 2-hour emergency surgery. Doctors placed stitches on multiple parts of his body including his arms and legs. Family and friends organized a GoFundMe to pay for his medical expenses. If you’d like to donate, you can click the link below.


Tim Tallant says his two goals are to aid his son’s recovery, and find whoever is responsible for this attack.

If you have any information about what happened to Nick Tallant, call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 861-3110 or the anonymous witness line at 322-4040.

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