Suspect sought in unprovoked stabbing of 71-year-old Filipino man waiting for El Cajon trolley

jose serra El Cajon trolley station attack

Police in El Cajon, Calif. are searching for a man who allegedly slashed and stabbed an elderly Filipino man in a brutal attack while he waited for the trolley.

The incident: On Nov. 3, in the early morning hours around 5 a.m., a 71-year-old Jose Serra was victim to an apparently unprovoked attack, which left him with wounds on his face and abdomen and a nearly-severed ear, reported Fox 5.

  • Security cameras captured the attack, leading to the release of the suspect’s name and photos. The alleged assailant has been identified as 24-year-old Israel Ezekiel Valdivia, who is considered armed and dangerous.
  • Valdivia has previous arrests and convictions for elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, among other charges.
  • A GoFundMe campaign has been started for the victim by a friend, Todd Jones.
  • According to the GoFundMe page, Serra had recently fallen on hard times after losing his job. He is currently at the hospital on a ventilator.

  • “What bothers me the most is that he recently lost his job and through all the struggles he has been through, how can someone not knowing this defenseless elder do this to him,” Jones wrote.

Senseless violence: Officials have not yet determined whether the incident meets the legal definition of a hate crime.

  • Local organizers, however, have drawn attention to the pattern of hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders since 2021.

  • Organizers with the Filipino Resource Center held a press conference Friday morning at the trolley station where the attack took place denouncing violence against AAPI elders.

In February of this year, another elderly Filipino person was targeted while riding the same trolley system.

Featured Image via GoFundMe

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