Elderly Filipino survives California knife attack

Elderly Filipino survives California knife attack


The El Cajon police shared on their Twitter page the photo of the attacker, 24-year-old Israel Ezekiel Valdivia, who has had a long criminal history. Photo courtesy of El Cajon Police Department
The El Cajon police shared on their Twitter page the photo of the attacker, 24-year-old Israel Ezekiel Valdivia, who has had a long criminal history. Photo courtesy of El Cajon Police Department

An elderly Filipino man is in hospital for wounds after he was brutally attacked with a knife while exiting a local trolly station in El Cajon in San Diego, California.

Around 5 a.m. on Nov. 3, Jose Serra, 71, was on his daily routine when he was stabbed multiple times by a man who had asked him for directions just outside a trolley station.


Serra was on his way to visit an old friend, local businessman Todd Jones, when the incident happened. 

“He’s used to coming up to my shop, he’s a person of routine, I guess you can say. He saw it happen or saw right after it happened and called 911 and because of that he’s alive today,” Jone said.

“He’s a very quiet man. Very trustworthy man,” he said.

The Filipino community gathered around the crime scene to search for leads and answers. 

 

Serra’s attack nearly sliced off his ear. He has been transferred out of ICU and remains in hospital where he is due to get a hand surgery.

“He’s in good spirits, he’s a fighter and his head is all bandaged up. He’s all laid out. It’s going to be a long recovery but he’s got a good attitude about it,” said Jones. 

Jones said Serra has lived in San Diego since his college years and has no family in the area. Serra had been going through health struggles lately and was surviving on a low-income housing program.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover his medical expenses and has already raised tens of thousands of dollars in just a few days. 

“It’s awesome. It warms my heart,” said Jones. 

In the meantime, with help from surveillance footage, police have identified the attacker as 24-year-old Israel Ezekiel Valdivia, who has had a long criminal history. 

Physically, he’s described as a Latino man standing 5’11, 180 pounds, with a face tattoo. But police also described him as a violent felon with a history of assault, elderly abuse, and weapons charges who is out on early release. 

The El Cajon Police Department warned that Valdivia is dangerous and is asking the public to contact them with information.

Police have not yet rule if the attack on Serra was a racially motivated crime. Jones said that Serra told him that there were no words exchanged between him and the suspect.

But whether this was a hate crime or not, the Filipino American Community is mobilizing, demanding answers about the investigation.

“This incident happened Wednesday of last week, the story didn’t break until Monday morning this week. Almost a week later this person is a dangerous person which is described to us, he has a history of elderly abuse and a record that we all should be vigilant seeking him out and making sure we get justice,” said JoAnn Fields of the Filipino Resource Center. 

The El Cajon police department has not yet explained the reason for the week-long delay in releasing information of the case. 

Community members hope that as the investigation goes on, authorities can look at possible hate crime motives to enhance the potential sentence. 

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Attack on Filipino in US, California, San Diego, Jose Serra, US crime, Filipino Resource Center, TFC News North America





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