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Escondido teen saves mother from attacker

alberto and mom.jpg
Posted at 10:51 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 03:18:11-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - An Escondido family of four is thankful to be alive after three of their family members were attacked by a relative.

Escondido police were called out to 800 block of W. Lincoln Avenue before 11 a.m. on Monday, May 24th. Police say they were called there after 34-year-old Abiel Sarabia became upset with his family members and attacked his aunt with a knife.

"I pray that no one would ever be in this situation. It's a horrible, horrible thing to happen," said 18-year-old Alberto Suarez. Suarez is Sarabia's cousin.

Suarez says the argument started outside and escalated. He brought his mother inside the house, but his cousin forced his way in.

"I remember when (my cousin) did break the door down I tried to hold the door. That's how he stabbed my arm repeatedly," Suarez said. "I remember falling back like towards the corner of the house behind the door, I guess. I saw him lounge towards my mom."

Suarez saw his mom betting stabbed. He was worried about her and his younger sister, who was also inside the house. He baited his cousin into chasing him outside.

I don't recall saying anything, but my sister and my mom heard me say, 'if you're going to stab someone, stab me,' and he said, 'I guess I will,'" Suarez said. "I remember just going out, and he was just following me. I didn't run, I just kept a distance where I knew he wouldn't catch me, but he wouldn't lose focus on me."

Suarez led his cousin away about a quarter of a mile away from the house and his family, until finally police arrived and arrested him. He was booked into the Vista Jail.

"He is just a huge hero; we're so proud of him." Alberto's older sister, Catherine Rivera Hernandez, said. "He saved her life. He saved our little sister's life, and the whole thing went down."

"I wouldn't call myself a hero," Suarez said. "I was just doing what anyone else would do for their own mother; I love my mother. I don't know what I would do without her."

Suarez's mother was stabbed in the arms, neck, face and even an eye. She was released from the hospital Thursday. His younger sister, and another cousin, were also injured in the attack. Suarez was injured as well, saying his cuts needed stitches.

To help with bills and recovery costs, A GoFundMe page was started for the family.

The Escondido Police Department is still investigating what led to the stabbing and all of the circumstances surrounding the event.