Santa Barbara police have arrested one man in connection with a gang-related stabbing that occurred downtown Thursday night, and they are currently attempting to identify other suspects in the incident. Edwin Orlando Bay, 20, was arrested while walking along the 200 block of East Gutierrez Street not long after police responded to the call. According to police, Bay matched the description of the stabbing suspect and was identified by witnesses of the incident, which took place on the 200 block of West Ortega Street at 9:40 p.m.
The 30-year-old victim, who was admitted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in stable condition and later released, was talking with three friends on the sidewalk when four men approached them and demanded to know where the initial group was from, a “common challenge issued by gang members who identify with a specific territory or ‘turf,’” according to Lt. Paul McCaffrey. The victim group allegedly said they “weren’t from anywhere,” McCaffrey said, which apparently wasn’t the correct answer, as the suspects started shouting the name of a local street gang and attacked. The group of victims did nothing to provoke the suspect groups, McCaffrey said, and it is unclear why the attack took place.
Some of the people being attacked saw one of the suspects - alleged to be Bay - was armed with a knife, and ran to avoid him. The 30-year-old victim was stabbed once in the back, and the four suspects all took off running.
Bay was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and committing a crime in furtherance of a criminal street gang, but the case remains open as detectives search for the other suspects.
Anyone with information on the incident should call (805) 897-2355.