A 42-year-old man was arrested Monday on suspicion of attacking a woman who was stabbed repeatedly in a parking lot at a University City mall, in what may have been a botched carjacking attempt.
Gerardo Sotto Pascual allegedly grabbed a 24-year-old woman as she was retrieving something from the trunk of her car at Westfield University Towne Centre about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Pascual allegedly tried to drag her around to the driver's side of her automobile before stabbing her multiple times in the chest with an unknown weapon when she tried to fight him off, San Diego Police Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
The assailant then fled.
Medics took the victim to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla where she's listed in good condition.
A short time later, an officer spotted a man fitting the assailant's description waiting at a bus stop outside the mall and arrested him.
Pascual was booked on suspicion of attempted murder.
For several hours, more than 50 people who had parked in the area where the woman was attacked were unable to get to their vehicles as investigators went over the scene to gather evidence.
The assailant may have been planning to commandeer the victim's car when he jumped her, police said.
Pascual is expected to be arraigned on Thursday.
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