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Man Stabbed to Death After Custody Swap

The attack outside a South Pasadena eatery follows a meeting with his wife to drop off a child, but it's unclear if the events are linked.

October 13, 2006|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

A father who had just dropped off his 1-year-old child in a prearranged custody exchange was stabbed to death in the parking lot of a South Pasadena restaurant, authorities said Thursday.

The slaying -- the first in South Pasadena in eight years -- was reported about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after the bleeding man ran to the front of Carrows Restaurant in the 800 block of Fremont Avenue and collapsed with multiple stab wounds to the chest.

Paramedics rushed the 28-year-old man to a hospital, where he died early Thursday.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office withheld the man's name pending notification of his family.

Sheriff's investigators said it was not clear whether the killing was related to the man's relationship with his estranged wife or the custody arrangement, or whether he was the victim of a random violent crime.

Authorities said the father had given the child to the mother before the attack, but they would not comment further about the custody arrangement.

South Pasadena Police Chief Dan Watson said the killing was the first nonvehicular homicide in the city of 25,000 since 1998 and, though tragic, it showed violent crime was the exception rather than the rule.

"Whatever the circumstances [of this case] are, it was a highly unusual incident for South Pasadena," Watson said.

"Violent crime is very rare here," he added.

"It's safe to walk the streets, but we also have to recognize that the city is in the middle of a large urban environment and there's always risks associated with that."

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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