SAN DIEGO – A man who was wanted on suspicion of brutally stabbing a 71-year-old man near an East County trolley stop was arrested Tuesday in a central Texas community after authorities say he stole a vehicle and led them on a high-speed pursuit.
Officers with the Winters Police Department said Israel Ezekiel Valdivia allegedly stole the vehicle about 6 a.m. from a 7-Eleven store in Abilene, which sits about 40 miles north of Winters, Texas. The pursuit with officers began in Winters and ended on County Road 402 in Ballinger, Texas, the department said.
Valdivia was sought by El Cajon police for a Nov. 3 incident where he reportedly targeted Jose Serra in what authorities called a “random and unprovoked stabbing.” He was identified as the suspected attacker by authorities using surveillance video of the assault on Serra.
Police said Serra was “severely slashed across his face” and nearly lost his ear in the attack.
Valdivia was arrested and charged in Texas for reckless driving, fleeing in a vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Winters police said. They later discovered Valdivia was wanted on an attempted murder charge for the El Cajon incident and said arrangements are being made to extradite him back to California.
He’s currently jailed at the Runnels County Court House in Texas, El Cajon police said.
“We want to thank the Deputies in Winters TX for their help in this case,” the department said in a tweet.
A GoFundMe campaign to help Serra get back on his feet was launched by one of his coworkers in the wake of the attack. Click or tap here to donate to the fundraiser.
FOX 5’s Liberty Zabala contributed to this report.