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Local News

Separate Assaults in Santa Barbara Leave Two Men Injured, One in Custody

Police say both attacks, still under investigation, are believed to be gang-related

Santa Barbara police said that two assaults that occurred Wednesday night and early Thursday morning involved gang members. The incidents left one man with multiple stab wounds and another with a broken nose.

Jose Hernandez Jr.
Jose Hernandez Jr.

Officers responded to the first incident after a call at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday from a resident living in the 1200 block of East Yanonali Street. Emergency crews transported the 47-year-old man, who had been stabbed multiple times, to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The victim told police he had been walking to his home when he was approached by a driver in a light-colored sedan at 100 N. Soledad St. The driver asked the man where he was from, and when he responded “no where,” two people got out of the vehicle, and at least one of them was armed with a knife.

The victim fled on foot to Eastside Park at the corner of Soledad and Yanonali, where he was stabbed several times near the bathroom. The victim reported that one suspect shouted a gang slogan before he was stabbed.

Both suspects fled in the sedan, and the case is still under investigation.

At 1:25 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to State and Haley streets, where two men had been beaten.

They told police they had been walking up State Street when they were approached by three large men. One asked to use their cell phone, and when the pair turned to walk away, they were reportedly punched, knocked down and kicked, resulting in a broken nose for one of the victims.

One of the victims dropped his cell phone, which was picked up by one of the alleged assailants before they fled west on Haley Street.

A California Highway Patrol patrol officer was in the area, and two officers caught one of the suspects.

Jose Hernandez Jr., 21, was identified by the victims as one of the suspects, and the cell phone’s battery was reportedly found in his pocket. Police say Hernandez is involved with a criminal street gang.

He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and theft. The other two suspects remain at large, and the investigation is ongoing.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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