Vista man pleads not guilty in wife's stabbing

VISTA, Calif. - A Vista man accused of stabbing his wife, then fleeing with two of their children, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a pair of felony domestic violence charges.

Juan Manuel Gonzalez, 38, was ordered held on $120,000 bail.

Gonzalez was arrested Tuesday morning in Riverside County. The two children, 1 and 3 years old, were unharmed and taken into protective custody.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies said an argument turned violent late Sunday afternoon, and Gonzalez allegedly took two of their four children.

About an hour later, the suspect's wife found him and the children in a pickup truck outside a church in the 1400 block of Foothill Drive, police Sgt. Dwain Washington said. When she approached him, he got out of the vehicle and allegedly stabbed her several times with a pocket knife, then drove off.

Paramedics took the woman to Palomar Medical Center. The couple's other two children were put into protective custody.

Detectives and members of a fugitive task force found Gonzalez in Menifee about 7 a.m. Tuesday, along with the two missing children. Deputies took them to a shelter in San Diego.

Gonzalez faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted of domestic battery causing great bodily injury and domestic violence. He will be back in court Aug. 29 for a readiness conference and Sept. 3 for a preliminary hearing.

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