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DNA Ties Suspect to Random Stabbing in Downtown Santa Monica

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
By Lookout Staff

February 22, 2013 – A Mexican national was charged Thursday with attempted murder and a hate crime in the random stabbing of a black teenager in Downtown Santa Monica last summer, police said.

Stabbing suspect Francisco Leon-Urbalexo (photo courtesy of Santa Monica Police Department)

Francisco Leon-Urbalexo, 39, of Sonora, Mexico, was tied to the stabbing through DNA evidence left at the crime scene after being detained and later arrested for illegal entry into the United States, police said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of attempted murder, hate crime and assault with deadly weapon after investigators from Santa Monica presented the case.

Leon-Urbalexo, who traveled to Yuma Arizona shortly after the crime, is currently in the custody of the United States Marshall, serving a 10 month sentence, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, the police department spokesman. 

He will be extradited to Santa Monica to be arraigned on the charges after he completes his sentence, Lewis said.    

The 19-year-old victim was attacked on August 13 as he walked with his girlfriend towards the bus stop on the corner of Fourth Street and Santa Monica Boulevard after exiting a restaurant, police said.

He was stabbed multiple times in the hip area but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries, police said.

"The suspect, who had been walking in front of the victim, suddenly and without provocation attacked the victim," Lewis said shortly after the attack.

"The victim attempted to flee across the street but was stabbed multiple times upon falling to the ground."

The victim did not appear to know the assailant, Lewis said.

Two weeks later, police released an image of the suspect captured by a video surveillance camera that shows him running southbound through the Santa Monica Place Mall.

In the end, it was DNA that tied Leon-Urbalexo to the crime.

Anyone with additional information should contact Detective Chad Goodwin at 310.458.8942 or Sergeant Ira Rutan at 310.458.8959 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310.458-8495.

Those who wish to remain anonymous can call WE Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27643) or submit the tip online at and be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00 if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.

Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their website at  To text an anonymous tip to crime stoppers; please view their webpage for detailed instructions.  If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster is eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000.00.

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