SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A second man was arrested Thursday for allegedly stabbing a worshipper near a California mosque in an apparent hate crime.
Marco De La Cruz, 26, of Simi Valley was arrested at his home on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and violations of civil rights and his parole.
It was unclear whether he had a lawyer.
De La Cruz is a gang member with an extensive criminal record and a neighbor of John Matteson, who was arrested shortly after the attack late Saturday night.
Matteson, 29, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to making criminal threats, disturbing the peace and other charges with hate-crime enhancements that make them felonies. He is free on bail.
Police said earlier this week that the men may have earlier asked to use a bathroom at the Jamia Razi Islamic Center and became angry when told it was closed, the Ventura County Star (http://bit.ly/2hLTvCp ) has reported.
The men allegedly began yelling anti-Muslim slurs at people leaving the mosque, which led to a fight in a nearby shopping center parking lot where the stabbing occurred, police said.
A 36-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.
The suspects didn’t target the mosque, Detective Cmdr. John Parks told the newspaper on Thursday.
“I can say unequivocally there was no pattern,” Parks said.