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Man arrested in fatal Hollywood stabbing over Labor Day weekend

September 03, 2013|By Richard Winton

A 22-year-old man was in custody Tuesday on suspicion of murder in connection with a fatal stabbing outside a Hollywood hotel during a violent Labor Day weekend in the area.

Julio Cesar Velasquez was arrested Monday, minutes after a 29-year-old man was stabbed outside the hotel in the 2000 block of North Highland Avenue about 6:30 a.m.

Los Angeles paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. In the aftermath of the stabbing, Hollywood patrol officers searched the area and took Velasquez into custody a short distance from the crime scene.

Hollywood detectives say Velasquez and the victim were "involved in a dispute," during which Velasquez stabbed the man. His identity was being withheld by authorities until his family could be notified.

Hours before the fatal stabbing, two men sitting outside Leila's Pizza and Deli on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard near Highland were attacked by a group of men. One victim suffered a stab wound to the head and another to the neck, police said.

Cmdr. Beatrice Girmala said information gathered so far by detectives led them to believe the violence was gang-related.

A short time before the attack, three people were shot and wounded outside a nightclub in the 1700 block of Ivar Avenue. They were listed in stable condition Tuesday.

In general, violent crime in Hollywood has been trending downward, dropping 14% from last year to this year, according to statistics produced by the Los Angeles Police Department.

But a spate of high-profile attacks in recent months have cut into the notion of Hollywood as a safe area.

Three transients were charged in the June stabbing death of a 23-year-old woman who took their photograph on the Walk of Fame.

Dustin James Kinnear, 26, was charged with murder; Jason Joel Wolstone, 33, was charged with assault by means likely to produce bodily injury and two counts of accessory after the fact; and Brian Joseph Widdows, 34, was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact.

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Twitter: @lacrimes | Google+

richard.winton@latimes.com

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