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3 Suspects Arrested in 2007 Stabbing Attack on Teen

Santa Barbara police say the assault was gang related

Ruben Nicholas Mize
Ruben Nicholas Mize

Gang detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department arrested three suspects Wednesday in a 2007 stabbing assault on a 17-year-old Westside resident.

Santa Barbara Lt. Paul McCaffrey said in a news release that the suspects, who were juveniles at the time of attack, will be charged as adults by the District Attorney’s Office.

At 10:10 p.m. Sept. 20, 2007, the 17-year-old male was walking home alone after playing basketball with friends.

A car pulled up beside him and several young men jumped out to confront him. The suspects, each armed with a knife, attacked the teen.

The victim was stabbed multiple times, including in the neck and torso. After the suspects fled the area, the victim staggered to his residence about a block away, and police and medical personnel responded.

Jacob Munoz Medina
Jacob Munoz Medina

The victim was admitted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was treated for more than 30 stab wounds.

McCaffrey said in the news release that the attack occurred during a period of frequent attacks by gang members and associates against their rivals.

At the time, detectives were unable to gather solid leads in the case. A year later, after the Operation Gator Roll investigation, information emerged about this and other unsolved incidents.

Carlos Rafael Lopez
Carlos Rafael Lopez

Ruben Nicholas Mize and Carlos Rafael Lopez, now both 17 but 15 at the time of the assault, will remain in Juvenile Hall until they turn 18, when they will be moved to the county jail. Jacob Munoz Medina, now 19 but 17 at the time of the attack, was booked into the county jail. All three face charges of attempted murder and committing the crime to benefit a criminal street gang.

McCaffrey said Mize was already in custody Wednesday on separate charges, including in the murder of Lorenzo Carachure.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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