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Woman in critical condition after 3rd Davis stabbing in 5 days; search for suspect

<i>KCRA</i><br/>Davis police are searching for a suspect after a 64-year-old woman was stabbed at a homeless encampment late Monday
Davis police are searching for a suspect after a 64-year-old woman was stabbed at a homeless encampment late Monday

By Daniel Macht & Brandon Iriarte

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    DAVIS, California (KCRA) — Davis police are searching for a suspect after a 64-year-old woman was stabbed at a homeless encampment late Monday, the third stabbing being investigated in the small university town in less than a week.

Police said the latest attack was reported at 2nd Street and L Street around 11:46 p.m.

After a 911 call, the woman was located and said she had been stabbed more than one time through a tent. She was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, police said.

The city sent out an alert to residents around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday calling for a shelter in place. That shelter-in-place has since been lifted but police have yet to find the suspected attacker, whose description now matches the assailant in two of the recent stabbings.

Authorities are looking for a man with a light complexion and curly hair, who is 5 feet and 6 inches to 5 feet and 9 inches tall, and with a thin build. He is believed to be wearing a black or blue sweatshirt, black Adidas pants with stripes and carrying a brown backpack.

The suspect was last seen running westbound on 3rd Street from L Street.

Witness reports encounter with the possible suspect Davis resident Isaac Cheessman told KCRA 3 Tuesday morning that he believes he spoke to the possible suspect.

“So we’re sitting in front of the tent, and I said, ‘Babe, this isn’t feeling right,’ and I seen a dude run across the way and started running, but he would stop along every tree to blend in with the tree because it’s dark. I noticed that because that’s something you would do if you’re scoping something out,” he said.

“I said, ‘Hey bro,’ and he starts walking normal, and then I said, ‘You look like the dude they’ve been describing that’s been stabbing people.’ He takes off and I started to take off after him and my wife is like, ‘Don’t leave me here,’” Cheessman said.

Latest attack follows the stabbing deaths of two other people at Davis parks The latest stabbing comes after a well-known community member and a UC Davis student were killed in separate stabbing incidents in recent days.

Police say 20-year-old UC Davis student Karim Abou Najm was killed Saturday night at Davis’ Sycamore Park. He was also a graduate of Davis High School.

The suspect in that attack was last seen wearing a white hat, a light-colored T-shirt, and a button-up shirt over it, and riding a men’s bike with straight handlebars. His physical description was similar to the suspect in Monday’s attack, though police have yet to link the stabbings.

The suspect was said to be “a light-skinned male, possibly Hispanic, 5’-7” to 5’-8” tall, 19-23 years of age, with long curly loose hair.”

Abou Najm was studying computer science and was set to graduate in six weeks, according to his father, Majdi Abou Najm, who also said his son already had two jobs lined up for after graduation.

“We moved from Lebanon in 2018 when the situation in Lebanon was a little bit starting to go in not the right direction,” Abou Najm said. “We came here hoping for safety.”

On the night he was killed, he was on his way back to his family home near Sycamore Park from an undergraduate awards ceremony.

On Thursday, 50-year-old David Breaux, known as the “Compassion Guy” was killed in Central Park.

Breaux was a Stanford graduate who city officials said was “instrumental” in the addition of a “Compassion Bench” at the corner of 3rd and C Streets in 2013. That’s where he would ask people their definition of the word “compassion.”

He had been a fixture in the community over the past decade and published a collection of anonymous writings on the subject.

The FBI has been called in to help with the investigation into stabbings that have set Davis on edge.

“We’re a small agency and we’re working around the clock with the personnel that we have now. I have detectives sleeping under their desks for a couple of hours, staying away from their families,” Dan Beckwith with Davis police said on Monday.

UC Davis offers free rides for students As an added precaution, the university said it is increasing escort availability for its Safe Ride program for students. Those rides from campus into the city will now be available from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily, according to the university.

Students can order Safe Rides by calling 530-754-2677 or using the free TransLoc App.

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