Suspect Arrested in Stabbing Death at Orange County Punk Show

Feels were scheduled to headline the show, which ended after the stabbing occurred.EXPAND
Feels were scheduled to headline the show, which ended after the stabbing occurred.
Photo by Jeff Fribourg

Santa Ana police have arrested a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a concertgoer at Orange County punk club Underground DTSA last night. According to a Santa Ana Police Department statement, Juan Angel Rivera, 21, of Santa Ana, will be charged with the murder of Nathan Joe Alfaro, 23, of Westminster, who was stabbed inside the club during a concert headlined by Echo Park–based band Feels. Alfaro later was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Feels lead singer Laena Geronimo told OC Weekly that Rivera had been dancing aggressively all night, before Alfaro tried to confront him and a fight broke out involving several attendees. "All of a sudden it became a dog pile on the stage," Geronimo said. "It knocked over the mic, the band was still playing, the drummer was still going and it was this crazy dog pile on the stage of people swinging at each other and trying to pull people off each other."

Somewhere in the brawl, Rivera apparently drew a knife and stabbed Alfaro. "I didn't think it was that bad and then I looked at the floor and there was just blood dripping everywhere," Geronimo told OC Weekly. "It was really messed up."

The incident occurred during a weekly event called Top Acid Thursdays, an "indie/garage/psychedelic/funk" night hosted by Santa Ana vintage store Top Acid. Other bands on the bill besides Feels were Santoros, The Hurricane, Ghali and The Jail Birds. It is not clear which band was performing when the stabbing occurred at around 10:30 p.m.

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Feels released a statement regarding the incident on their Facebook page, which read in part, "Punk isn't about hurting other people. Fuck that shit. Thank you to the poor kid who gave up his life last night to try to keep the one totally psycho violent moshing guy in check. The psycho dude had crazy eyes and was slamming into everyone in the room, even on the edges, almost knocked over the entire DJ setup ... but who could've known he had a knife."

The Santa Ana Police Department asks any witnesses to the stabbing to call detectives at 714-245-8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.

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