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Simi Valley mosque stabbing suspect arrested

Simi Valley police arrested the second suspect in a stabbing that occurred in front of the Islamic Center of Simi Valley located at 1756 Erringer Road on Dec. 10.

Simi Valley resident Marco de la Cruz, 26, was arrested Thursday at about 5 a.m. after detectives served search warrants at two different locations within the city.

29-year-old John Matteson, also of Simi Valley, was arrested the night of the attack, and is facing hate crime charges. He was taken to the hospital for medical attention after suffering mutliple injuries during the fight with the stabbing victim’s friends, and was later taken into custody.

Authorities say Matteson and De la Cruz approached several members outside the Islamic Center and asked to use the restroom. “When told it was closed, Matteson and the other suspect began yelling racial and religious slurs, and challenging several members to fight,” said the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in a statement. De la Cruz allegedly “pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the members, before fleeing the scene.”

Marco De La Cruz, 26, Simi Valley resident (left) and John Matteson, 29, of Simi ZValley (right)

Police say both suspects are neighbors in the 1500 block of Kearney Avenue in Simi Valley.

The stabbing victim, whose identity was not released, was transported to Simi Valley Hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

De la Cruz was booked into Ventura County Jail and facing several criminal charges, including: Assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, civil rights violation, and parole violation.

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