Mira Mesa

Pregnant woman randomly stabbed at Mira Mesa Target shopping center ATM, police say

The attack happened during broad daylight in a busy strip mall

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Authorities arrested a suspect Sunday who stabbed a 25-year-old pregnant woman multiple times outside her vehicle at a drive-thru ATM in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, San Diego police said.

Cole Klemke, 27, of Carmel Valley was taken into custody on Sunday, according to SDPD Lt. Eric Drilling. The suspect did not know the victim and his motive was unclear, Lt. Drilling said.

The assault occurred around 9:55 a.m. Saturday at 8251 Mira Mesa Blvd. at a Target shopping center when the man approached the woman and slashed her, police said. The suspect pushed her to the ground and slashed her two more times.

Una mujer fue hospitalizada y acuchillada varias veces mientras estaba en un cajero automático del Bank of America en Mira Mesa el 15 de junio de 2024. (NBC 7 San Diego)
NBC 7 San Diego
A woman was hospitalized after being slashed multiple times while at a Bank of America ATM in Mira Mesa on June 15, 2024. (NBC 7 San Diego)

The woman tried to defend herself by kicking the suspect, police said.

She sustained deep cuts to her neck, left shoulder and chin, and was taken by ambulance to local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

“Fortunately in this case, her carotid [artery] was not severed, so this could have been a much worse attack, if not for her resilience,” SDPD Sgt. Eric Diggins said.

The woman was released from the hospital later that day.

La policía buscaba a este hombre sospechoso de acuchillar a una mujer en un cajero automático de Mira Mesa el 15 de junio de 2024. (Departamento de Policía de San Diego)
Police were looking for this man suspected of slashing a woman at a Mira Mesa ATM on June 15, 2024. (San Diego Police Department)

The suspect was seen on Target surveillance cameras walking out moments before the attack.

“The suspect was alone inside the target for approximately 10 minutes prior this attack and shortly before, approximately half an hour before the attack occurred," Diggins said.

Klemke allegedly fled the scene after bystanders came to the victim's aid. Police said the attack was random and unprovoked. He made no statements or demands prior to or during the attack, and no property was taken, police said.

Klemke was known to police. Diggins said he had a criminal history and had been contacted by authorities just a week before regarding a disturbance call. No other details were provided.

Detectives were also assisted by several tips from community members, who were able to help identify the man through photos released to the public.

The attack occurred during daylight hours, police say. 

SDPD originally reported the victim was 30 years old. Later, SDPD reported the victim is actually 25 years old. —Ed.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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