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UPDATED Three stabbed in early morning fracas

Submitted by on 1, July 13, 2009 – 10:27 am2 Comments

Updated 11:09 a.m. Monday, July 13

Two men are facing charges in connection with what police described as a melee that erupted at a Park Street restaurant early Sunday morning in which three people were stabbed.

Alameda Police Lt. Bill Scott said that Juan Cortez, 21, of Oakland, could face an attempted homicide charge in connection with the stabbings. He said Ruben Leal, 21, also of Oakland, is facing an assault with a deadly weapon charge. The pair were scheduled to be arraigned today in Alameda County Superior Court.

Scott said a 24-year-old Oakland man who was stabbed in the chest, allegedly by Cortez, remains in stable condition after emergency surgery at Highland Hospital. Two other stabbing victims whose wounds were not life-threatening – a 22-year-old Hayward man and a 25-year-old Alameda man – were treated at Highland and released, Scott said.

A fourth victim, a 24-year-old Alameda man, was hit over the head with a bottle. Police said he drove himself to the hospital for treatment.

Scott said it wasn’t clear whether the suspects or the victims had participated in the Park Street Pub Crawl, an informal, annual drinking event that happened Saturday night.

Scott said the suspects were walking through La Pinata restaurant on Park Street looking for a seat when Cortez and one of the victims exchanged words. He said Leal stepped in to break up the argument but that additional words were exchanged, sparking the fight. Police said the fight became a melee that saw chairs and tables overturned and patrons fleeing the crowded restaurant. They were called at 2:37 a.m.

Police said that the 25-year-old pub crawl had once sparked many fights and arrests but that the problems had waned in recent years. They said they can’t really stop the event because it has no organizer.

The restaurant was open for business when a reporter visited Sunday afternoon.

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