A second teen connected to the stabbing of a 16-year-old Black girl in Lakeside, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime, was rearrested on new charges, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
The victim was stabbed April 16 at an apartment complex on Mapleview Street near Channel Road, according to deputies. A 15-year-old girl -- believed to be the girlfriend of the 16-year-old male suspect, who is accused of carrying out the stabbing and hurling racial slurs at the victim in the process -- was arrested for brandishing a weapon and released. The male suspect left the scene following the stabbing but was arrested two days later.
The teenage boy appeared in juvenile court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. Each charge also carries an added hate-crime allegation, an allegation of personal use of a deadly weapon, and an allegation of personal infliction of great bodily injuries.
Then on Tuesday night, the Sheriff's Department announced the suspect's girlfriend was arrested again, saying she had "a larger role in the attack than initially believed."
She turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She is facing attempted murder and hate crime charges, the SDSO said.
Neither teen suspect is being identified because they are minors.
Prior to the stabbing, deputies say the male suspect and a group of other teenagers confronted the victim and her family about an assault that took place earlier in the day. The group yelled racist slurs at the girl and her family during the confrontation, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
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A fight ensued and the boy stabbed the girl in the back. He and the group then ran away from the scene, the SDSO said.
Detectives are also investigating whether the male suspect's father was a part of the crowd that confronted the girl victim and her family.
The girl was left with serious stab wounds to the back and was taken to the hospital. She is expected to survive.
“Multiple aspects of this incident are appalling and as our investigation moves forward, we will be sure to hold everyone accountable for whom the evidence shows committed a crime,” DA Summer Stephan said.
Following the stabbing, activists and community members confronted the San Diego County Sheriff's Department during a town hall in Lakeside, where 10 hate crimes have been investigated since 2019, including one so far this year.
"It's a running joke that East County is racist," said Danielle Wilkerson of the East County BIPOC Coalition. "You've heard Klantee, you’ve heard White Hills, all the things people put a layer of humor on, but that racism is real and alive, and we had a victim this week."
Stephan said there has been a "disturbing increase in hate crimes, We’ve seen a disturbing increase in hate crimes, with the highest number being committed against persons who are Black."
The DA said her office, which prosecutes crimes across San Diego County, has filed 21 hate crime cases in 2020 and 30 cases in 2021.
An online submission website and hotline was established to make it easier for citizens to report hate crimes in 2020. At the time, there was a surge of hate-related incidents toward the Asian community amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Deputies said they're working to expose racist organizations in the county, noting that this week's town hall meeting in response to the Lakeside stabbing is a perfect example of the department taking reports of hate crimes seriously.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact SDSO at (858) 565-5200. Anonymous tips can be made by calling CrimeStoppers at (888) 580-8477.
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