Overnight SWAT standoff ends in arrest for stabbing suspect

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- A man accused in a stabbing that led to a six-hour, overnight standoff in Oceanside was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

Officials said that the fight started when the victim was walking through the Mira Costa neighborhood of Oceanside and spotted the 36-year-old suspect, later identified as Joseph Paul Sustaita, reportedly assaulting a woman.

When the victim tried to intervene, Sustaita stabbed him, Oceanside police said.

The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday near Vista Way and Snead Drive, not far from the El Camino Country Club.

Oceanside police spokesman Tom Bussey said that by the time officers arrived to the scene of the fight, Sustaita was gone.

The victim, whose name was withheld, had suffered several stab wounds and was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where he was in stable condition Thursday morning, according to Bussey.

A dog from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department tracked Sustaita to his mother's apartment in the 3200 block of Paseo De Laura, about a block from the stabbing scene, Bussey said. When officers attempted to contact him there, Sustaita allegedly refused to answer the door, prompting a SWAT team response.

Detectives obtained a search warrant that the SWAT team served around 5 a.m., Bussey said. Sustaita was booked into the Vista Detention Facility just after 9 a.m., police said.