2nd suspect arrested in Simi Valley stabbing near mosque

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A known gang member with a criminal history has been arrested as the second suspect in the stabbing of a man outside a Simi Valley mosque that police consider a hate crime.

Police arrested Marco de la Cruz, 26, of Simi Valley early Thursday after serving a search warrant at his home. They identified him as a known gang member with an extensive criminal history who had an outstanding felony warrant already out for his arrest.

The stabbing occurred Saturday night not far from a Simi Valley mosque.

Police say two men confronted worshippers who had left the mosque and were walking on the sidewalk. A fight ensued and one of the worshippers suffered non-life-threatening stab wounds to the abdomen.

Police believe from alleged statements and actions by the suspects that the victim was targeted because of his religious background.

Officers arrested John Matteson, 29, of Simi Valley, that night but a second suspect fled the scene.

Police said John Matteson was arrested for hate crimes after he stabbed a victim following a confrontation with worshipers outside a Simi Valley mosque on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.

Their investigation led to the identification of de la Cruz, who is a neighbor of Matteson in the 1500 block of Kearney Avenue.

The Simi Valley SWAT team served search warrants at the residences of de la Cruz and Matteson around 5 a.m. Thursday and arrested de la Cruz. He was booked at the Ventura County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon; criminal threats; civil rights violation; and parole violation.

Matteson had already posted bail and was released from jail on Wednesday, police said.
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