A man who was walking with his daughter and two grandchildren along an El Cajon street Thursday night was stabbed in the head, chest and shoulders in an unprovoked attack, police said.
Several people tried to grab the suspect, identified by El Cajon police as Lester Riley, after the stabbing near the intersection of 2nd Street and Madison Avenue at about 8 p.m.
"I get out the car and tried to grab him but he had a knife in his hand," Jesus Venegas said.
Instead, Venegas and four other people tailed Riley in a car as he zig-zagged in and out of the street.
"While he was walking he was zig-zagging trying to get away," Venegas said.
The El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) arrived and found the wounded 75-year-old man on the ground and the suspect about five blocks away, still holding the weapon, ECPD Lt. Jason Taub said.
He refused to drop the knife so officers used less-lethal force -- a taser and three beanbag shotgun rounds -- to safely arrest the man, Taub said.
The victim was awake and could be seen compressing his wounds with his hands when medics arrived. He was taken to the hospital and was expected to survive.
His daughter was nearby, holding her young children as they cried.
El Cajon police were investigating whether Riley knew the victim.
Investigators said the knife was recovered from the suspect but it had been wiped clean somewhere between the attack that happened here and where they arrested him.
Riley was being held at San Diego Central jail pending a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
There are several stores and fast-food restaurants in the area where the incident happened, just south of Interstate 8.