By Lori Stuenkel and Marilyn Dubil – Staff Writers
– Three Gilroy residents are in Santa Clara County Jail after a
baffling stabbing incident Wednesday evening at the Extended Stay
America motel on Jarvis Drive in Morgan Hill.
The stabbing victim remains in the hospital, unable to speak
By Lori Stuenkel and Marilyn Dubil – Staff Writers
Gilroy – Three Gilroy residents are in Santa Clara County Jail after a baffling stabbing incident Wednesday evening at the Extended Stay America motel on Jarvis Drive in Morgan Hill.
The stabbing victim remains in the hospital, unable to speak with police.
Anthony Aguilera, 20, the main suspect in the stabbing, was arrested following a foot pursuit and hours-long search Wednesday night. He was wanted by Gilroy police on three other felony charges, including an attempted murder.
Aguilera, Cassandra Arciniega, 20, and Monique Zamaripa, 22, were all still in jail Thursday. Scott Bargar, 24, of San Martin, is in Santa Teresa Hospital in San Jose in critical condition with multiple stab wounds to the neck.
The incident began Wednesday afternoon in a room at the hotel that was rented by Arciniega. Morgan Hill police received a call from the motel at 4:45pm, reporting a large amount of blood found by hotel staff in one of the rooms and a trail of blood leading from the room down the hallway to the parking lot, said Morgan Hill Lt. Joe Sampson.
While officers were at the scene, Sampson said San Jose police called to report a stabbing victim – Bargar – at Santa Teresa who was stabbed, possibly at a Morgan Hill restaurant.
Detectives spoke with Bargar’s friend, Andrew Aitke, 24, of Morgan Hill, at the hospital, Sampson said. Aitke told them Bargar had driven to his house and asked for help. Aitke then got into Bargar’s car and drove him to the hospital.
Police do not know the motive for the stabbing. Bargar has been unconscious and unable to make a statement, although Sampson said Thursday afternoon that hospital personnel said his condition was “stabilizing.”
Later, MHPD received a call from Gilroy police about another stabbing victim, this one at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. The victim had given a false name but was later identified as Aguilera, according to Gilroy Police Sgt. Kurt Svardal.
MHPD detectives and investigators from the District Attorney’s office went to Saint Louise to talk to Aguilera, but he fled on foot before being treated for his injuries. Aguilera’s injuries were not life-threatening, Sampson said, “more in the nature of superficial cuts.”
Aguilera jumped into a waiting vehicle outside Saint Louise on No Name Uno in Gilroy, driven by Zamaripa. The car drove south into Gilroy at 8:52pm as MHPD officers chased and contacted Gilroy police for assistance as they entered the east side of the city. The five-minute pursuit circled around the area of Murray Avenue and Chestnut Street – near South Valley Middle School – and reached speeds up to 60 miles per hour.
Zamaripa’s car was stopped in a driveway near a townhouse complex on Chestnut Street. She was arrested on suspicion of felony harboring or aiding a felon and felony reckless driving, and was being held with bail set at $50,000.
Aguilera – who by this time was known to police as a suspect in two assaults with a deadly weapon and another attempted murder – jumped a nearby fence and fled on foot.
“When we got out there, we pretty quickly knew who we were looking for, which is one of the other reasons we went through the effort,” Svardal said. “Because when you’re talking about three violent offenses, and all relatively recently, this is someone we want to get.”
Police suspect Aguilera of being involved in three recent, potentially deadly incidents: The stabbing of a pedestrian on Princevalle Street on Nov. 7; the shooting of a 22-year-old man in his car on Church Street Oct. 23; and a stabbing at Tenth and Rosanna streets in July.
From about 9:30pm to 1am, officers with GPD’s Special Operations Group, its SWAT equivalent, searched the rooms and backyards of the apartments and town homes occupying a block of the south side of Chestnut Street in Gilroy, adjacent to San Ysidro Park. For about an hour, the San Jose Police Department helicopter searched the area from the skies above, at times shining its spotlight on the neighborhood.
“We were going through the different houses in the area, and the feeling was, he was there,” Svardal said. “We had a pretty tight perimeter pretty fast, and ultimately, we found a couple pieces of physical evidence that pointed to (7720 Chestnut St. Apt. B).”
He would not elaborate on the nature of the evidence.
Police placed a call into the home and asked Aguilera to surrender, which he did at 1:07am.
He is being held without bail in county jail on suspicion of attempted murder, two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, felony willfully and maliciously firing at an inhabited vehicle, as well as misdemeanor minor in possession and violating parole.
Aguilera was likely taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for treatment and released to police custody before being taken to county jail, Sampson said.
During the vehicle pursuit, a Morgan Hill officer driving an unmarked car noticed a yellow car suspiciously following the chase.
After the pursuit ended about 9:30pm, the driver of the yellow car was detained and identified as Arciniega, who had rented the Morgan Hill hotel room. She was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and felony harboring or aiding a felon, and is also being held in county jail without bail.
Oscar Flores, night manager of the Extended Stay, said Wednesday night there were no reports to management of an altercation or disturbance. No weapons or drugs or drug paraphernalia were found in the room, Sampson said.
Timeline of events
• Morgan Hill police respond to a call about blood in a hotel room
• Officials from Kaiser Santa Teresa Hospital report they’re treating a stabbing victim
• Aguilera flees the hospital when officers try to contact him
• Gilroy and Morgan Hill officers pursue the car with Aguilera, driven by Monique Zamaripa, 22, through the east side of Gilroy
8:75pm • Aguilera jumps out of the vehicle near Chestnut Street and Murray Avenue; Zamaripa arrested
• Cassandra Arciniega, 20, who was driving a possible getaway car, is arrested
9pm-1am Thursday • MHPD, GPD, and Sheriff’s officers search apartments and town houses for Aguilera
1:07am • Aguilera surrenders and is arrested