Man, 51, stabbed in storm drain

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — A 51-year-old man was severely injured Wednesday when at least one assailant attacked and slashed him in a South Bay storm drain, possibly using a machete, authorities reported.

The assault off the 2300 block of Plaza Boulevard came to light shortly after 1:30 p.m., when the bloodied victim approached a car stopped for a red light in the area, opened the passenger-side door, got in and asked the driver to take him to an emergency room, according to police.

The motorist drove to nearby Paradise Valley Hospital, where the victim was admitted in critical condition, Sgt. Alex Hernandez said.

Patrol officers fanned out around the scene of the attack and searched with help from a service dog and helicopter crew, finding an empty machete sheath but no suspects.

The motive for the assault was unknown, though the involved parties seemingly knew each other, the sergeant said. It also was unclear why the victim had gone into the concrete culvert in the first place, or if more than one assailant attacked him.

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