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Names Released of 5 Suspects in Santa Barbara Stabbings

The names of three men and two women suspected of attempted murder in stabbing incidents last weekend that left four victims injured have been released.

Edgar Alberto Castellanos, 23, Abraham Vega, 20, Jose Rene Santacruz, 20, Rita Maria Rodriguez Mejia, 23, and Itzel Ramirez, 20, all of Santa Barbara, are listed on the criminal complaint as defendants in the stabbings that occurred on Saturday.

Santa Barbara police reported that four people were hospitalized — one in critical condition — after two separate stabbing incidents early Saturday.

The first assault occurred shortly before 1 a.m. in the 400 block of North Milpas Street, Sgt. Dan McGrew told Noozhawk. Officers arrived to find a man with stab wounds, and he was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

About two hours later, officers were dispatched to the west downtown neighborhood, the 200 block of Cottage Grove Avenue, where they found three people — two males and a female — who had been stabbed.

The five defendants were arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Details are still scant about that evening’s events, and Sgt. Riley Harwood said Thursday that he could not release any new information at this time.

All five are charged with attempted murder with two victims listed in the complaint, and five are also charged with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury with those two victims.

Vega already has one strike against him for an assault with a deadly weapon charge from 2011, of which he was convicted last year.

A third and fourth victim are also mentioned in the complaint, and all five defendants are facing charges of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury with those victims as well.

All of the charges list a special allegation of street terrorism, for the benefit of or at the direction of the Westside Gang.

Prosecutor Kimberly Siegel told Noozhawk on Thursday night that the defendants are still being assigned attorneys, so an arraignment has not occurred.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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