Christmas Morning Stabbing on Eastside

Suspect Sergio Quintana, 36, Arrested; Victim Cesar Ortega, 32, Recovering in Hospital

Christmas morning started off on a particularly naughty foot for Sergio Quintana, a 36-year-old resident of Soledad Street on Santa Barbara’s Eastside who allegedly stabbed an acquaintance on Milpas Street near Haley in broad daylight Friday morning. The victim, 32-year-old Cesar Ortega, managed to flee in his vehicle and escape to his neighborhood on the 100 block of South Soledad Street, where he called police at about 10 a.m. from outside his apartment.

Once the police arrived, they found Ortega suffering from “several stab wounds to the chest and abdomen,” said Sgt. John Corre, amounting to what they thought were life-threatening wounds. He told them that he’d been stabbed by Quintana, and pointed up the street, to the 100 block of North Soledad, where the attacker’s car was parked. The police were able to quickly find Quintana, and he was arrested without incident for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Upon being admitted to the hospital, Ortega was treated and, according to Corre, “His wounds were not as serious as we had anticipated.” He’s now being classified as in “guarded but stable condition.”

Until a more thorough report is issued Monday morning, Corre was unable to go into more details, as there are still a couple witnesses that police are tracking down. “Right now, all we would be giving would be the victim’s account,” said Corre, explaining that accuracy is most important before any public statement. But it sounds as if the motive has already been worked out, and while Corre made it seem that the case was pretty cut and dry, he did say that some of the underlying issues are “interesting.”

Corre could confirm, however, that the victim and suspect did know each other before the attack and that “we’ve seen nothing that shows any gang relationship.”

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