Santa Monica stabbing suspect on the loose

Police need your help in locating and identifying a suspect involved in a seemingly random stabbing crime that occurred on 4th St. and Santa Monica Blvd at around 6:20 p.m. on August 13. According to Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department, a 19-year-old male and his girlfriend exited a Hooter’s Restaurant, and while walking towards a bus stop were suddenly approached by an unknown man. The 19-year-old male victim received multiple stab wounds near the upper body and hand. The assailant fled the scene, leaving the victim bloodied and unconscious, though the girlfriend was not injured. Police are saying that the issue was unprovoked, and not gang related.

Lewis said that many witnesses watched the suspect head south on 4th St., and believed he entered Michael’s Arts and Crafts store. The SMPD temporarily shut down the store to conduct a search, but did not find the suspect.

Security cameras were able to capture the suspect as he escaped West on Broadway into the Santa Monica Place Mall. The suspect was described as a Hispanic or dark skinned Caucasian homeless man in his thirties, at about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing around 180 pounds, and wearing dark colored clothes, a baseball cap, and dirty white shoes.

According to Lewis, there have been about 20 assaults during 2012 in which a knife was used, though not all resulted in a stabbing. However, Lewis says assault crimes have declined by two to three percent this year.

Lewis noted Santa Monica College’s efforts to encourage students to ride the bus and suggested some safety tips, saying that students should be aware of their surroundings. Lewis emphasized that text messaging while crossing the street or riding public transit limits a person’s ability to react to possible danger. Additionally, he urges students to be vigilant in alerting authorities of suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something. Don’t ever feel hesitant to call,” Lewis said.

Lewis added, “If you ride the bus, take ownership of your belongings by setting items on your lap.”

Lewis says more public awareness can help to aid in the safety of students and citizens of Santa Monica To report information on this crime or any other, call the Santa Monica Police Department’s tip line at (310) 458-8495.

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