Two men were arrested early Sunday morning and face charges of attempted murder following the stabbing of an Isla Vista resident during a brawl at the corner of Del Playa Drive and Camino del Sur.
Kevin Klein, a student at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck and head and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in critical condition. Police did not release his age, but a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept., Sgt. Erik Raney, said Sunday evening that Klein is expected to make a full recovery. Two other men suffered superficial stab wounds in the fight, but police did not release their names.
Raney said Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers arrested Reseda, Calif., resident Hrachia Azizyan, 21, and Van Nuys resident Akop Virabian, 22, for their alleged role in the incident after several witnesses provided deputies with a description of the suspects and their vehicle. He said an arraignment date for the pair has not yet been set.
Police located the vehicle, arrested the suspects and found a loaded 25-caliber handgun in the car, Raney said.
Several witnesses said they saw up to a dozen people involved in the fight — which broke out for an unknown reason shortly after midnight — before the stabbing occurred.
“There were two groups of guys, and next thing you know they are going at each other,” said Vazken Bedrosian, an SBCC student who witnessed the brawl. “Car alarms were going off everywhere because people were getting thrown against the cars.”
Bedrosian, who said he was standing across the street from the fight when it broke out, said the struggle lasted approximately 10 minutes before the stabbing occurred. One of the suspects, Bedrosian said, had his head thrown through a car window by one of Klein’s friends in retaliation for the stabbing. He said four men took off their T-shirts and wrapped them around Klein’s stab wounds to control bleeding until paramedics arrived.
Klein, who was in critical condition when police arrived on the scene, managed to survive the ordeal with the help of paramedics and doctors, Raney said.
“He underwent some critical medical intervention and was last reported in stable condition and should make a full recovery,” Raney said.
Police cordoned off the location of the fight, blocking the short stretch of Camino del Sur between DP and Sabado Tarde Road for several hours while they investigated the crime scene.
“I came home around 12:15 and found my block taped off,” said Meena Subbaraman, a UCSB student. “The police told me I had to find another way home. All I saw was a lot of blood everywhere — some was even splattered over parked cars.”
A pool of dried blood on the sidewalk of Camino del Sur and a trail of blood leading to the middle of the street were still visible Sunday afternoon.