Santa Monica cops say a man wanted in a strange, random hate crime near Third Street Promenade has been charged in connection with the attack.
Francisco Leon-Urbalexo, 39, was tracked down via DNA evidence left behind during the bizarre stabbing last summer, cops say, and will now face allegations of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime, according to a Santa Monica Police Department statement:
Cops say the suspect stabbed a 19-year-old black man as he walked with his girlfriend on Fourth Street near Santa Monica Boulevard on Aug. 13.
It was not long after 6 p.m. and the pair had just left a restaurant near Third Street and Santa Monica Boulevard, according to the SMPD:
Upon reaching the intersection, he was randomly attacked and stabbed multiple times … The victim was hospitalized with moderate injuries and the suspect fled the crime scene.
Some time after that detectives say they identified Leon-Urbalexo as the attacker through DNA.
Though he's from Sonora, Mexico, the suspect was found in Yuma, Arizona, “shortly after the crime” and was arrested there on suspicion of illegally entering the United States, the SMPD says.
Leon-Urbalexo has been behind federal bars ever since, serving out a 10 month sentence.
But before he might be sent back to Mexico, Santa Monica officials want a crack at Leon-Urbalexo and will seek to extradite him to California from Arizona to face those charges.
Cops still aren't quite sure exactly why the man allegedly attacked the teen. Anyone with info was asked to call police at 310-458-8495.