Fatal stabbing adds to troubled history of complex
Last updated 12/6/2007 at Noon
A young father of two was the latest victim at an apartment complex known for its frequency of law enforcement calls.
Nicholas Raymundo-Diego, 23, perished from stab wounds received in an attack at the property located in the 1100 block of Old Stage Road on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, at approximately 9 p.m.
Law enforcement officials say in the past two years (since November 2005), there have been some 86 calls for service at the 18-unit apartment complex, the majority of which have been reported as disturbances and suspicious individuals on the premises.
What happened in the November 22 incident continued to remain unclear as of Monday, when Sheriff’s Lieutenant Dennis Brugos explained that authorities have been told several different versions of what happened that night by witnesses.
“It’s very confusing,” Brugos admitted. “We’re hearing a lot of different stories.”
Some witnesses say the young man was “jumped” by another group of Latinos as he made his way through the complex en route to his home after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with his cousins. Others say the stabbing was the result of alcohol and two groups that have a long history of dissension.
“We heard that one group came over to the apartment complex and confronted the [other] group there,” Brugos said. “Some people have reported that these groups contain individuals from Guatemala or other parts of Mexico, and they do not get along.”
Brugos said he would not classify the incident as gang-related, as it does not appear to be related to the known street gang in Fallbrook.
After suffering the stab wound(s), Diego was placed in a private vehicle by his brother and taken to a local fire station, from which paramedics transported him to Palomar Medical Center, where he died shortly afterward.
Diego, known to attend St. Peter’s Catholic Church, has been remembered by friends as “happy, always giving, an individual who loved to dance.”
“His wife and children live in Guatemala,” one friend from church said. “He worked hard to support his family.”
Some of the witnesses reported that they knew the identification of the individual who stabbed Diego and say a photograph of the individual has been provided to law enforcement authorities. There is, however, a concern amongst witnesses and the Sheriff’s Department that the perpetrator has already fled the country.
“We have some information that indicates he may have already crossed the US border,” Brugos confirmed.
Law enforcement authorities say numerous attempts have been made to get the owner of the apartment complex involved in the Crime Free Multi-Housing program offered by the Sheriff’s Department to no avail.
County records show that the property was built in approximately 1987 and is owned in the name of a Living Trust registered in Escondido.
Anyone with information about the incident can call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 974-2321 or (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS.