SANTA ANA – One man suspected of being involved in a Santa Ana homicide has turned himself in, and two other men are believed to be on the run after seeing surveillance photos of themselves on television, police said.
Police seek the public’s help in locating Rigoberto Rodriguez, 53, and his son Mario Alberto Rodriguez, 23, who along with Pablo Sanchez, 18, were identified Friday as the men suspected in the fatal stabbing of Paul Anthony Garcia, 26.
Authorities have not determined a motive for the homicide, which occurred about 1 p.m. March 9.
Three men were caught on video chasing Garcia to El Chile Picante in the 1900 block of Main Street and attempting to pull him out of the restaurant until an employee told them to “take it outside,” Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Investigators believe the three men waited until Garcia left the restaurant a short time later, pulled him to an area behind a tax-service business on the other side of Main Street and beat him, Bertagna said.
Garcia was apparently able to break away from the men but was chased, stabbed and collapsed in the street. Garcia, an Irvine resident, was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was pronounced dead.
Police on March 15 released surveillance video and photos taken from the restaurant that showed one of them men shoving Garcia and trying to get him to leave the business.
After seeing himself in the publicly released surveillance footage, police say, Sanchez turned himself in and was booked on suspicion of being an accessory to homicide.
Rigoberto and Mario Rodriguez are also believed to have seen themselves on television, Bertagna said, spurring them to go on the run.
Investigators believe Mario Rodriguez stabbed Garcia, but detectives are working to determine Rigoberto Rodriguez and Sanchez’s roles in the fatal confrontation, Bertagna said.
The confrontation and stabbing is not believed to have been gang-related.
Both Mario and Rigoberto Rodriguez have had previous run-ins with the law.
Mario Rodriguez pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in 2010 and 2012, as well as car theft and receiving stolen property in 2010, Orange County Superior Court records show.
Rigoberto Rodriguez, who police say also goes by Rigoberto Rodriguez Robledo, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI charges in 2006, 2007 and 2011, felony DUI charges in 2011 and felony drug possession in 2012, court records show.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the men or the killing to contact the Santa Ana Police Department’s homicide unit at 714-245-8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
By SEAN EMERY/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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