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Orange teen recounts being stabbed on street

August 19, 2008|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

A 14-year-old Orange girl recounted a harrowing story Monday of being stabbed in the back with a 6-inch steak knife by a transient as she walked down the street on an otherwise ordinary Sunday morning after breakfast with a friend and her parents.

The girl, who asked to be identified by her first name only -- Melissa -- said she had just left the Bagel Me on Santiago Boulevard in Villa Park and was walking up the street with her friend when they were approached by a transient, who seemingly crossed the road to confront them.

As the man walked past he mumbled something unintelligible, but the girls tried to mind their own business and ignored him, Melissa said. But after the man passed them, he suddenly turned and twice plunged the knife into Melissa's back, on the right and below the armpit, police said.

"It was like nothing I'd ever felt before," she said Monday as she recounted the incident at the Orange County Sheriff's Department headquarters. "I was definitely in shock."

The two girls ran to a nearby gas station for help, and patrons held Melissa and aided her until an ambulance came, authorities said. The attacker apparently stashed the knife and his shirt in an alley, but Melissa's friend saw him walking in a nearby parking lot and pointed him out to a group of men at the gas station, police said. The men chased him down and held him until police arrived to arrest him.

Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino identified the suspect as David Eddy, 49, who has frequented the Orange and Villa Park area and has a long arrest record. His most recent arrest was on Aug. 2 for narcotics possession.

"One would have to ask, 'How could someone with this kind of record be on the street?' " Amormino said.

Melissa was taken to a hospital, treated and released later Sunday. She said she was thankful to the people in the gas station and the police and medical workers who helped her.

"They were amazing people that we met," she said.

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christian.berthelsen@latimes.com

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