A 51‑year‑old Santa Rosa man sitting on a city park bench Tuesday evening was stabbed in the chest by a man he recognized from the neighborhood who walked up to him, asked a question then attacked him for unknown reasons, Santa Rosa police officials said.
The victim walked home, leaving a substantial blood trail, and got a ride to a hospital, detective Sgt. Josh Ludtke said. Detectives arrested Felipe Peralta, 24, of Santa Rosa on suspicion of trying to kill the victim during the brief encounter at Martin Luther King Park. A motive for the stabbing wasn’t clear.
“Miraculously it missed his lungs and heart,” Ludtke said.
The victim, whom police declined to identify citing safety concerns, was expected to survive. Investigators do not think the attack had ties to gang activity, Ludtke said.
Tuesday’s violence was the latest in a string of at least six unrelated stabbings in Sonoma County this year.
Two of them were fatal.
Earlier this week, a fight broke out between two men — neither of them students — inside a Sonoma State University apartment building. Police have yet to described a motive in the stabbing or why they man, both Santa Rosa residents, began to fight. Prosecutors on Wednesday filed “voluntary manslaughter charges against the suspect, calling the violence “a sudden quarrel and heat of passion.”
In Tuesday’s case, the victim recognized Peralta from the neighborhood but didn’t know him and didn’t know why he attacked him, Ludtke said.
The victim told police the man walked up to the bench, asked him a question and then stabbed him with what appeared to be a folding knife, Ludtke said. Hospital staff called police at 6:47 p.m. when the wounded man arrived.
Following information provided by the wounded man, detectives began to watch Peralta’s home. They took him into custody after a short while when he tried to leave the house.
A house search turned up a knife and clothing similar to what the victim described his attacker used and wore, Ludtke said. The knife will be tested to determine if it was the weapon.
Peralta was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and booked into the Sonoma County Jail at 3 a.m. His bail was set at $1 million.
Martin Luther King Park is on Hendley Street in east Santa Rosa.
Ludtke asked anyone with information to contact detectives at 707‑543‑3590.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @rossmannreport.