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Two Stabbed in Early Morning Fight Sunday

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By Jorge Casuso

March 20, 2023 -- Two victims were hospitalized with stab wounds after a fight broke out between two groups at the northern end of Palisades Park in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to police.

The incident -- which marked the fifth and sixth confirmed stabbings this month -- came one day after a fight at a Main Street bar may also have involved a knife, according to a security guard involved in the altercation.

The two confirmed stabbings took place at around 3 a.m. Sunday on the 200 block of Ocean Avenue where "two separate groups were hanging out," according to police.

"One of the groups, described as 6-10 males, attacked the victim group (males and females)," according to police. "The disturbance was reported to police, but all parties fled the location prior to officer arrival."

Several hours later, the Police Department dispatch center received a call from UCLA PD reporting two victims with stab wounds in the ER at Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

"The victims told the officers the suspects were unknown to them," police said.

Two members of the victim party -- comprised entirely of LA residents in their mid-20s -- received non-life-threatening puncture wounds and were released from the hospital.

Those in the suspect group were described as being between 20 and 26 years old, said Police Department spokesperson Erika Aklufi.

"There is no indication that the suspects were from Santa Monica, nor did they appear to be experiencing homelessness," police said.

That morning, at around 6:30 a.m. a runner reported seeing police activity at the scene in a post on NextDoor.

He said an officer told him a stabbing had taken place overnight "in the area between the bathrooms and the totem pole on the far north end of the park.

"There were blood stains in the metered parking spot where she was working -- marking evidence and taking photos," the post said.

The stabbings came some six hours after Santa Monica police officers "responded to a fight in progress at The Victorian (2640 Main Street) involving several patrons and security personnel," according to a police.

"One of the security guards claimed he had been stabbed in the upper arm during the altercation, but hospital staff confirmed that he had not sustained any stab wounds or other significant injuries," according to police.

"There were several conflicting reports of what happened," police said. "Some participants of the fight were detained and identified, but no arrests were made."

The suspect fled in an unknown direction, and police are investigating the incident as a battery on the victim, not an aggravated assault, police said.

The two confirmed stabbings early Sunday came four days after a City worker was stabbed by a homeless man he tried to rouse from his sleep in Palisades Park ("Homeless Man Stabs City Worker in Palisades Park," March 16, 2023).

Sunday's attacks marked the 10th and 11th victims stabbed in six separate incidents reported by police since late October. Most of the assaults took place Downtown or near the beach and involved homeless suspects.

According to police, a dangerous mix of legal knives, illegal drugs and lenient State laws are likely driving a surge in stabbings among the homeless in Santa Monica ("Why Homeless Knife Attacks Have Increased in Santa Monica," March 16, 2023).

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