Mira Mesa

Man who stabbed pregnant woman has history of drug, mental-health issues: Court docs

San Diego police said the man did not know the woman he attacked, who is four months' pregnant and was using an ATM in Mira Mesa at the time

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Court documents show that a San Diego man accused of repeatedly stabbing a pregnant woman in Mira Mesa over the weekend has drug and mental health problems.

San Diego police arrested Cole Klemke, 27, on Sunday for attacking the 25-year-old woman, whom he did not know, on Saturday around 10 a.m. at 8251 Mira Mesa Blvd. in a Target shopping center. Investigators said he approached the woman and slashed her, then pushed her to the ground and slashed her two more times.

Area residents may recall the name from when Klemke played baseball at Torrey Pines High School and then at the University of Nebraska in 2016.

NBC 7's Dave Summers has new details about the crime and jarring information about the man arrested.

On Monday, NBC 7 discovered that the suspect's mother, Brenda Klemke, filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order in August 2020. In that document, she requested that Cole stay away from all family members as well as the family’s Carmel Valley home.

“Cole continues to bring and use methamphetamines in our home,” Brenda wrote. “This causes him to be disruptive, belligerent and verbally abusive in the home. He was told that he could stay here as long as he was no longer violent and did not bring or use drugs in the home. He is currently refusing treatment for mental health issues and substance use disorder.”

Also in the document: Klemke’s mother claimed her son called her names and that “Cole took a pen and held it up to my husband’s throat and made a threat to cut his head off.”

A Superior Court judge dismissed the case, however. Cole was not present for the hearing.

Police say it was in the Carmel Valley area, near the family’s home, where Klemke was arrested Sunday morning.

San Diego police said they have charged Klemke with other offenses, but they have not yet been prosecuted. Police said officers last had contact with Klemke about a week before the attack.

NBC 7's Jeanette Quezada has the latest on the arrest of the 27-year-old suspect.

Lani Stasko said she wasn't surprised to hear about the random attack that happened near her home of 34 years.

“Because there’s some questionable people," Stasko said. "I walk through the park a lot. There’s a lot of homeless.”

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)

A Carmel Valley neighbor of the Klemke's, Mary Torres, told NBC 7 that she was shocked by the news.

“I have been hearing a lot about people being followed outside of stores," Torres said. "Even inside this Target, I have shopped a lot and have seen people in there that might have followed people around, and they’re not really looking like they’re shopping…. The other day, I had someone kind of watching me, going into aisles, and at that point, I’m like, 'OK, just let me call someone I know and just chat around while I’m shopping.”

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)

San Diego resident Johanus Porter said he remains alert whenever he's out in public.

“You have to watch your back all the time in San Diego now, which is something different than I would have said a couple of years ago,” Porter told NBC 7

The victim's identity has not been made public but she was reportedly four months' pregnant at the time of the attack. 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. She was later released from the hospital, according to the department.

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

The attack occurred during daylight hours, police say. 

During the investigation, Northeastern Division detectives obtained photos and video of Klemke in the Target just before the crime occurred. Detectives were also assisted by several tips from community members, who were able to help identify the man through photos released to the public.

San Diego police received a recording from a camera late Monday afternoon. Detective Sgt. Erich Drilling told NBC 7 that what is on it is horrific, hard to watch and that it was clear the victim did not know her attacker was behind her. Drilling said it happened quickly and violently.

Klemke, who faces a charge of attempted murder, is due in court later this week.

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