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El Cajon assault victim speaks out from hospital bed

El Cajon assault victim speaks out from hospital bed
Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 20:42:49-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Speaking from his hospital bed, an assault victim is describing a brutal attack outside an El Cajon trolley stop last week.

Two Wednesdays ago, just before 5 a.m., 71-year-old Jose Serra was on the trolley, when a man got on and sat a few seats behind him.

“When he got on the trolley, all he did was ask me how to get to Spring Valley,” said Serra.

Serra says after a quick uneventful exchange, the man started talking to someone else. A few minutes later, Serra and the man both got off at the Arnele Avenue stop.

“So we were walking towards away from the trolley. He didn't say nothing. I didn't say nothing. There was no interaction,” said Serra.

About a block away, the two men were just a few feet apart.

‘There was no change in his expression. Nothing. He just pulled out the knife and started slashing. It was a complete surprise,” said Serra.

Serra says the man stabbed him several times in the stomach with a foot-long knife. Serra's face and ear were also slashed, along with his hand and arm.

RELATED: API community concerned following El Cajon trolley attack

“As soon as the knife started coming, I fell to the sidewalk, because I was bleeding like crazy,” said Serra.

Serra's attacker ran off, while a bystander came to his aid. At the hospital, Serra beat the odds. Doctors told him, the damage he suffered to a vein near his intestines is often fatal.

“It feel good, feels good to be alive,” said Serra.

On Thursday, El Cajon Police released a photo of the suspect, 24-year-old Ezekiel Valdivia, who owns has an extensive violent criminal history. He was released early from jail in January, five months into a one-year sentence.

On Wednesday, local API advocates have called on authorities to take a close look at whether Serra, who is Filipino, was a victim of a hate crime.

Meanwhile, Serra is asking anyone with information to come forward.

“Please release the information. He’ll do it again and again until someone stops him … He could kill someone,” said Serra.

El Cajon Police are asking that anyone who has information on Valdivia's whereabouts call 911 or the department at 619-579-3311. He is considered armed and dangerous.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Serra with expenses.