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2 Arrested in Connection with Weekend Stabbings in Downtown Santa Barbara

Daniel Medina Click to view larger
Daniel Medina
Juan Rios Click to view larger
Juan Rios

Two suspected gang members have been arrested in connection with an altercation Saturday night in downtown Santa Barbara that sent three people to the hospital with stab wounds.

Officers were dispatched shortly before 11 p.m. to the 600 block of State Street on a report of a fight in progress, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Nearby, on the first block of East Cota Street, they found a 35-year-old man who had suffered multiple stab wounds, along with his 26-year-old niece, who had been assaulted.

A short time later, in the area of City Parking Lot 10 behind World Market, at 610 State St., officers located a bloodied 21-year-old man — a known gang member — who had head and shoulder injuries but had not been stabbed.

Police say the incident began inside a bar on the 500 block of State Street, where the 35-year-old man got into an argument with another man who is believed to be a member of a local street gang.

“Fearing for their safety, the man and his niece immediately left the bar and began walking north on State Street,” according to Anthony Wagner, a Police Department spokesman. “Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to defuse the situation, and several members of the group followed them, challenging them to fight.

One of the suspects punched the woman in the face, knocking her to the ground, and then attacked the man, Wagner said.

“Two nearby citizens witnessed this attack and rushed to the aid of the two victims,” Wagner said. “The good Samaritans were able to cause the attackers to flee, but not before the original male victim and both of the men helping him sustained multiple stab wounds.”

All four victims were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Their names and details on their conditions were not available.

Police were able to identify the two primary attackers and obtained warrants for their arrest, Wagner said.

Taken into custody on Tuesday and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail were Daniel Medina, 23, and Juan Rios, 21, Wagner said.

Medina was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and participation in a criminal street gang, while Rios was charged with attempted murder and participation in a criminal street gang, Wagner said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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