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Arrest made in 2002 murder outside Escondido bar

VISTA, Calif. — A homicide suspect arrested in Mexico nearly 14 years after allegedly stabbing another man during a fight outside an Escondido bar was brought back to San Diego County, where he’s scheduled to be arraigned a week from Friday, police announced.

Hector Asuncion Mendieta was booked Wednesday into county jail in Vista on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 35-year-old Bartolo Velador, according to police.

Officers responding to a reported assault in a parking lot at Dee’s Sports Tavern, 426 N. Rose St., found Velador mortally wounded just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2002, Lt. Justin Murphy said.

Medics took the victim to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Detectives soon identified Mendieta, then 21, as Velador’s alleged killer and determined that the suspect had fled south of the border, Murphy said.

Mendieta remained at large until last June, when a fugitive task force located him in Mexico. Following a seven-month extradition process, he was flown to the United States and turned over to the Escondido Police Department.

The 35-year-old suspect was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for next Friday.