A man who is accused of stabbing a 61-year-old in the neck in Santa Rosa last month is a Mexican national who has an extensive criminal record and has been deported at least seven times. [Fox News]
On Dec. 21, Ricardo Velasquez-Romero, 39, was sitting at a table at Lola’s Market, a grocery store and restaurant in the Northern California city while the stabbing victim was sitting at a different table inside the restaurant. The two individuals had not spoken prior to the attack.
At one point, unprovoked, Velasquez-Romero stood up, walked toward the victim, stabbed him once in the neck and fled the area by foot, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department. The victim was transported to the hospital with a life-threatening injury. His condition has since been upgraded to stable.
Velasquez-Romero, who also goes by the name Eulalio Miniz Orozco, is charged with attempted murder and is currently in Sonoma County Jail. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer request on Velasquez-Romero with the jail, even though California recently became a “sanctuary state,” which does not honor ICE’s detainers.
James Schwab, a San Francisco-based ICE spokesman, said a Department of Homeland Security database shows Velasquez-Romero has been repatriated to Mexico seven times since 2007. Schwab also said records show Velasquez-Romero has multiple prior criminal convictions, including felony drug and weapons offenses.
The Santa Rosa stabbing occurred just three weeks after the acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in the killing of Cal Poly grad Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier. Garcia Zarate, too, is a Mexican national, and he had been deported five times prior to the Steinle killing.
Garcia Zarate admitted to shooting Steinle, but he said he did so by accident. A San Francisco jury acquitted him of charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, prompting an angry reaction from President Donald Trump and other federal officials.