SAN JOSE, Calif. - Fewer people visited an East San Jose park on Thursday following a recent violent and unprovoked attack.
Expressing his shock, Harold Alex said, "What the hell? That’s crazy. There’s an assailant?" as he began his walk along Penitencia Creek Park.
According to the San Jose Police Department, around 5:18 p.m. on Tuesday, a man wearing headphones was stabbed at least once while walking near the Berryessa Community Center. The suspect fled the scene, leaving the victim with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officer Steve Aponte, a spokesperson for the police department, stated, "The victim had been attacked, unprovoked, by an unknown adult male suspect. That suspect is still outstanding. And we currently still don’t have the motive or circumstances for the initial purpose or reason for the attack."
Only one person reported witnessing the crime and rushed to aid the victim.
Mike Kraus, the president of the Penitencia Neighborhood Association, said that he spoke with the Good Samaritan, noting, "She was shocked. Shaken. She’s afraid to go to the park."
Other residents said Penitencia and surrounding neighborhoods have seen an increase in crime. In June 2022, a woman returned home to find her house being robbed while her husband and baby were inside.
Natalie Lopez stated, "My neighbors and I, we just don’t feel comfortable even walking around now. I don’t go to the gas station at night. I don’t go to the stores at night. So I try to do everything I can during the daytime. It’s just not the same as it used to be here."
Kraus, a resident of 37 years, added, "It’s brought a cloud over the community, just to be able to go over to Penitencia Creek Park and be safe."
Residents are staying connected through a WhatsApp group chat and a neighborhood email chain to stay informed.
Police investigators advised park-goers to always be aware of their surroundings.
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"I can hear somebody walking up on me. That’s why I have the open-ear (headphones). It wouldn’t make any sense to wear anything else," said Alex.
San Jose police are encouraging more witnesses to come forward with information on Tuesday's incident.
Councilman David Cohen intends to hold a community meeting regarding the attack in the coming days.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter), @JesseKTVU and on Instagram, @jessegontv.