Four arrested for Watsonville Discount Mall stabbing; attack may have been gang retaliation, police say

Jennifer Squires (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
01/26/2010

WATSONVILLE – Four Watsonville gang members are behind bars after they allegedly beat and stabbed the brother of a man charged with killing another member of the gang last year, police reported.

The Jan. 17 attack may have been revenge for the slaying, according to police.

The brother, a 26-year-old Watsonville man, was shopping at the Discount Mall around 6 p.m. when the gang confronted him. He tried to leave, but the gang attacked him outside of the Rodriguez Street shopping center, Sgt. Saul Gonzalez said.

The brother was punched, kicked and stabbed. He suffered at least two stab wounds then ran back inside the Discount Mall for help, but was chased by a couple of the gang members and accosted again, according to police.

“His brother was arrested last January for a gang-motivated murder and he believes he was attacked because he and his brother look very similar to one another,” Gonzalez said.

The victim’s brother, Cristobal Ramirez is one of three men accused of killing Oscar Avalos Sanchez, a Mexican national living in Watsonville, in January 2009. Sanchez, 35, was stabbed 80 times; his body was found in a Pajaro Valley berry field.

Authorities termed the homicide a gang slaying because the three men accused – Jose Velasquez, 27, Alejandro Chavez, 21, and 20-year-old Ramirez – allegedly are gang members, however, the killing stemmed from a personal issue between Velasquez and Sanchez, according to investigators.

Gonzalez said the gang that attacked Ramirez’s brother, a former gang member, at the Discount Mall had ties to Sanchez.

Through the victim’s cooperation and witness statements, investigators were able to identify four of the people suspected in the attack. They were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and a gang allegation.

Two 17-year-old boys were arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall the night of the attack, police reported. Their names were not released because of their ages. Eduardo Mendoza, 22, was arrested Thursday and his brother, 23-year-old Arturo Mendoza, was taken into custody Tuesday, according to police.

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4 Comments for “Four arrested for Watsonville Discount Mall stabbing; attack may have been gang retaliation, police say”

  1. […] Four arrested for Watsonville Discount Mall stabbing; attack may have been gang retaliation, police … Jennifer Squires (Santa Cruz Sentinel) 01/26/2010 WATSONVILLE – Four Watsonville… […]

  2. Shy1Cas

    sHY1.CaS..

  3. raw

    yea riTE FOOl.

  4. emop

    run oVer suRENOs n san aDREAS……

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