Suspect in stabbing, robbery at duck pond in Santa Clara arrested

SANTA CLARA (BCN) — A suspect was arrested on Saturday for allegedly stabbing and robbing a woman feeding ducks in a Santa Clara park earlier last month.

Investigators asked for assistance finding the suspect after the Jan. 12 attack, initially describing her as a 20- to 22-year-old man. But a
Valley Transportation Authority bus rider recognized Stephanie Sotelo, 24, based on a sketch distributed by police.

Police have also connected Sotelo to a Dec. 30 robbery at a gas station.

The stabbing happened at about 9:15 p.m. in Santa Clara’s Central Park. The victim was feeding ducks by a pond when the woman later identified as Sotelo approached her, stabbed her multiple times and took her wallet and cellphone, police said.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is still recovering from the stabbing. Sotelo fled.

In the Dec. 30 robbery, police said Sotelo was with another suspect, a man, when they approached a victim at an Arco gas station at 2800 Homestead Road, police said.

Sotelo had a baseball bat and allegedly struck the man and took his cellphone. The second suspect remains at large and police described him a 25-year-old white man with a thin build and short dark hair.

On Saturday, a bus rider recognized Sotelo from a sketch on a police flyer as she boarded a bus near the corner of El Camino Real and San Tomas Expressway just before 2 p.m.

The rider told the bus driver to call the police. Sotelo tried to get off the bus and the rider tried to stop her, but she overpowered him and ran away. Officers found her nearby on Los Padres Boulevard and arrested her, police said.

She was booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of robbery and attempted murder, police said.

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