Two disputes resulting in stabbings last week in Isla Vista left two men hospitalized and two others in jail.
All of the victims and suspects were homeless males who came into the I.V. area recently.
The first stabbing occurred on Wednesday, April 17, in Estero Park, when James Dinkel, a 39-year-old male, stabbed his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Russ Birchim said.
The 44-year-old victim told police he had come to the homeless camp in Estero Park to contact his ex-girlfriend, who was staying in the park with their two daughters, ages two and four. Birchim said the victim and the female began to argue, which led to a physical fight between Dinkel and the victim.
“As the two males fought, Dinkel pulled out a small pocket knife and stabbed the victim several times,” Birchim said.
The victim was treated at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital for stab wounds to his lip, cheek and inner forearm. On Thursday, IVFP deputies arrested Dinkel for assault with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $20,000; however, he cannot be released because of prior parole restrictions.
On Thursday morning, IVFP deputies arrested Joshua Silva after he “made two statements indicating he had just stabbed” a 38-year-old male in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park.
On Sunday, the victim, 38-year-old Jeffrey Waters, was still under observation at Cottage Hospital for stab wounds to his back and groin area.
Silva was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, with bail set at $20,000.
Many homeless have moved into I.V. over the past months, Birchim said, because of a dispute over the sleeping and camping laws in the town.
Last Thursday, after almost four months of pressure from I.V. residents on both sides of the issue, the I.V. Recreation and Parks District voted against allowing sleeping and camping in any of its parks.
“All of the people involved in the stabbings were new,” Birchim said. “The problem we’ve been facing is the influx of new homeless. Before, the regular I.V. homeless knew the Foot Patrol and we knew them. It was a contained situation – we lived in harmony for the most part. The vast influx of new people was upsetting the mix. It’s a safety issue for the community.”