Credit: Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Police Department

A man was stabbed Monday evening, reportedly without provocation, by a Santa Barbara woman near the intersection of West Micheltorena Street and San Andres Street, less than 100 feet away from the Westside Medical Clinic.

The victim was able to walk quickly into the nearby clinic after the incident, where the staff called 9-1-1. The victim told authorities the suspect was an adult female not known to him, and that he was stabbed with a large kitchen knife before the attacker fled on foot. 

According to Sergeant Ethan Ragsdale, a witness stayed on the line with police while following the suspect, contributing a detailed description and general direction the assailant was going. The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Vanessa Beatriz Alvarez. 

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Several officers swiftly responded and detained Alvarez on the 1700 block of Castillo Street about five minutes after the first call was made. According to Ragsdale, Alvarez disposed of the eight-inch chef’s knife as soon as she saw the police and failed to follow verbal commands. Officers were able to make an arrest without further incident.

Alvarez was positively identified by the victim and the witness who provided the information that helped locate the suspect. Both say the attack was completely unprovoked, with video surveillance also capturing the stabbing. 

The victim was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after receiving immediate medical attention at the clinic. The injury was described as not life-threatening. 

Alvarez was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail and charged with several felonies, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, use of a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury, and a misdemeanor for resisting an officer. Bail was set at $1,070,000.

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