Irvine police arrested a 43-year-old man suspected of three unprovoked confrontations in the city Tuesday, including one that resulted in a victim being stabbed and later hospitalized.
Shortly after noon, police responded to a call of a possible stabbing after the suspect, later identified by police as Ricardo De La Riva, confronted and verbally threatened two men separately at a shopping center near Culver and Walnut.
One victim reported minor injuries after the man lunged at him with a knife. The second victim did not report any injuries, police said.
The suspect then entered the Greentree neighborhood and confronted a third victim on Fireside Circle, who was transported to a local hospital after being stabbed in the torso, according to police. He was in stable condition.
Amanda Hood, a 36-year-old Irvine resident, said she saw the suspect make eye contact with her daughter and continue walking, before the man confronted and stabbed her neighbor across the street.
The suspect reportedly approached her neighbor and asked for a shirt, to which the neighbor said no. The suspect replied and said, “let me give you a dollar”, and proceeded to stab him twice in the stomach in front of his young daughter, according to the witness.
After calling 911, Hood and her mother helped apply pressure to the neighbor’s wound and looked after his daughter once paramedics arrived.
“I come from a family of firefighters and law enforcement and I was taught if I can help out, to do my part,” Hood said in an interview.
She described the suspect, who wore a black denim jacket without a shirt underneath, as agitated and “not all there.”
Police apprehended De La Riva shortly after without the weapon, and Hood was able to identify him based on his face and chest tattoos.
Riva was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
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