U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed on Thursday that a man who was arrested for viciously attacking an elderly man at a shopping area in California in December is an illegal alien that federal immigration officials have deported multiple times and is a convicted felon.
Law enforcement officials arrested 39-year-old Ricardo Velasquez-Romero in Santa Rose late last month after he allegedly stabbed a 61-year-old man in the neck in what police described as an “unprovoked and brutal stabbing,” Fox News reported.
Federal immigration authorities have deported Velasquez-Romero back to Mexico seven times since 2007, and a review of his records reveals a laundry list of previous criminal convictions inside the U.S.
James Schwab, a spokesman in San Francisco for ICE, told Fox News, “Records indicate Mr. Velasquez also has multiple prior criminal convictions, including those from felony drug and weapons charges.”
Police say that the attack happened at a restaurant and that Velasquez-Romero and the victim were sitting at different tables and were not interacting with each other. It is unclear if they knew each other.
“At one point, the suspect stood up and walked toward the victim,” local police said a press statement. “The suspect had an unknown stabbing instrument in his hand and stabbed the victim once in the neck. The suspect then fled the area on foot.”
The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries and has since had his status upgraded to stable. Officials charged Velasquez-Romero with attempted murder, and federal immigration authorities said they are monitoring the legal proceedings and have lodged a detainer hold against him.
The state of California officially became a "sanctuary state" at the beginning of the year, meaning that law enforcement officials in the state are prohibited from complying with federal immigration authorities looking to enforce immigration laws that existed years before President Donald Trump was elected.