Los Angeles: Los Angeles police are investigating a nearly fatal stabbing that occurred in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, May 8, 2010. The unidentified Hispanic man, estimated to be in his thirties, is currently in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. Doctors placed him on life support overnight.
Around 3:30 p.m., Saturday afternoon, more than a half dozen Hispanic men in their twenties surrounded the victim on the east sidewalk of Los Angeles Street, at 5th Street.
“The attack started as a beat down until the victim fell to the sidewalk near a lone tree,” Lt. Paul Vernon. “According to one witness, most of the attackers backed away, then a lone suspect began ruthlessly stabbing the victim.”
Doctors took the victim into surgery immediately at the hospital, repairing damage to a dozen or more stab wounds. The victim had no identification, and, to date, has not been identified. He remains on life-support systems.
Witnesses described the assailants as Hispanic men in their twenties who seemed to be affiliated with the numerous street vendors who clog the sidewalk in that block. “We know the 5th-and-Hill gang tries to control this area by taxing the street vendors for protection,” Lt. Vernon explained. “The gang members are often vendors themselves. If someone does not pay their tax, they get beat up or worse. We’ve seen it before.”
Saturday’s stabbing is the third since the Fall of 2009. The prior events occurred on the north side of the same building. Detectives believed those two day-light stabbings, a couple weeks apart, were related. Detectives made arrests in the second of those two attacks. The suspects were 5th-and-Hill gang members who doubled as hotdog vendors to control the street.
“We received a number of good tips from residents in the area,” Lt. Vernon added. “We’re looking at video from the surrounding area, which should give us a good idea as to who was involved.”
The public is encouraged to report tips, anonymous or otherwise, to Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.