What we know about Carlos Reales Dominguez,

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant 2023-05-08 21:19:02

A former UC Davis student, Carlos Reales Dominguez, is charged with a series of apparently random stabbings that left two men dead and a homeless woman seriously injured in the Northern California college town.

The attacks took place over a span of six nights, and two of them took place in local parks, casting a shadow on a city that celebrates its well-used bike paths, youth sports and ample green space. The city crouched in fear, with youth activities canceled, restaurants closing early and students confined to their dormitories.

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Homicide detectives and FBI agents poured into Davis to help with the investigation. Dominguez was detained by police Wednesday afternoon near a neighborhood park where the second fatal stabbing took place after several Davis residents called police to say he matched the description of witnesses to two of the attacks.

Here’s what we know about Dominguez and the crimes he’s been accused of.

What do we know about the suspect?

Born in El Salvador, Dominguez entered the country in April 2009 as an unaccompanied minor, according to an immigration and customs officer. He was handed over to a relative and his immigration case was administratively closed in April 2012.

Dominguez, who studied biological sciences, was in his third year at UC Davis until April 25, when he was separated for unspecified academic reasons. said the university. According to police, he had no criminal record.

In an interview Thursday, Dominguez’s father expressed bewilderment and shock at his son’s arrest, describing Dominguez as a loving brother and son and an accomplished student and athlete at Castlemont High School in Oakland, where he graduated in 2020.

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“This is inexplicable to me,” he told The Times, adding that he was not familiar with UC Davis had his son disqualified for academic struggle. “He was so excited to go to Davis. I don’t understand how this could have happened.”

In a blog dedicated to a care internship to students of various backgrounds that Dominguez attended during high school, he described his dreams of becoming a doctor to help people like his grandmother.

“I got into healthcare to help my grandmother — she has type 2 diabetes,” he said. “It makes me happy and it makes her happy, and I love seeing her smile.”

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Dominguez played football and ran in high school, and in a brief biography on the blog post, expressed his commitment to his two younger siblings.

What do we know about the crimes?

The investigation began April 27, after authorities found the bloodied body of David Henry Breaux, 50, a Stanford University graduate who slept in Davis’s Central Park and was known in town for his gentle conversion of the need for compassion. Breaux had been stabbed to death on the couch where he often slept. There were no witnesses to that attack.

Two days later, Karim Abou Najm, 20, a UC Davis graduating student who had recently posted on social media about his joy in finding a job as a software engineer, was fatally stabbed in Sycamore Park as he cycled home from a college event. A neighbor who responded to the crime scene after hearing noises of fear described the attacker as a young man with curly hair and a thin build who fled on – and later abandoned – Najm’s bicycle.

Monday night, a woman in her 60s was attacked while sleeping in a homeless camp on 2nd and L streets near the center of town. She was alone in her tent when a person cut the canvas, reached in and stabbed her repeatedly. The assailant ran away when her screams called for help from fellow campers. She was taken to UC Davis Medical Center and is recovering after surgery.

On Wednesday, Dominguez was spotted walking through a park near where Najm was killed on April 29, wearing dark clothing — a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants with a white stripe — that matched the description given by witnesses to the third attack. With wavy, shoulder-length hair and a slim build, Dominguez’s appearance also matched witnesses’ descriptions.

Police arrested Dominguez and said they found a large “hunting knife” in his backpack. The weapon matched one used in the attack on Breaux, according to police. Davis police chief Darren Pytel said investigators spoke with Dominguez for hours before arresting him for all three crimes. Pytel described his demeanor as “reserved” but declined to disclose details of the conversation.

What’s next in the case?

Dominguez was arraigned in Yolo Superior Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty.

Based on the allegations and an allegation of special circumstances, prosecutors could seek the death penalty in the case. Dominguez remains free on bail at the Yolo County Jail.

What we know about Carlos Reales Dominguez,

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