A 20-year-old man was charged Thursday with four counts of attempted murder for allegedly going on a Fourth of July stabbing rampage, injuring four family members before a nearby hero halted the attacks with a baseball bat.
Gino Liam Fuentes faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of premeditated attempted murder, meaning he would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
Fuentes is also charged with inflicting injury on an elder adult and criminal threats, both felonies, and additional sentence-enhancing allegations of the personal use of a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury.
Court records show that Fuentes pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon and battery on April 12 of last year and was placed on three years of informal probation.
Officers were sent at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday to a home in the 100 block of West Bluebell Avenue, where they found two men, aged 25 and 55, and two women, one 66 and the other 48, suffering from stab wounds, according to Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
Police have not released information on a motive or the defendant’s relationship to the victims, but a man who lives in the neighborhood said the four are relatives — an aunt, grandmother, uncle and cousin — of Fuentes.
Fuentes was taken into custody about a mile from the scene, according to Wyatt, who said a neighbor helped stop the stabbing spree by striking the assailant with a baseball bat and a crowbar.
Manuel Gonzalez, 24, said he was working across the street when he saw a bleeding woman stumble out of a house pleading for help and the suspect knifing another person, prompting him to grab the bat and the crowbar and attack the man.
“I saw her shirt full of blood and her gushing out blood from her neck,” Gonzalez told reporters at the scene. “He already had stabbed four people, so I said these people’s lives are in danger as well as mine and everybody that’s around here, so I grabbed a bat and I whacked him like four or five times in the rib area.”
The assailant dropped the knife at that point, ran into the home and came out with a bigger knife, Gonzalez said. That’s when he put the crowbar to use.
“I chased him with a crowbar and I hit him one more time in the back,” Gonzalez said. “I chased him a little bit more, but then my parents were like, don’t chase him anymore because the cops are coming and if they see you with a crowbar they’re gonna think it’s you.”
Wyatt was quick to acknowledge Gonzalez’s heroics.
“We try not to recommend people to get involved in a violent assault like this, but he’s obviously instrumental in helping to stop what could have been a much worse attack,” Wyatt said.
—City News Service