Arrest made after man stabbed during massive fight at Levi's Stadium soccer game, police say

The suspect is charged with attempted murder.

Dustin Dorsey Image
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Arrest made after man stabbed at Levi's Stadium soccer game: Police
Santa Clara police said that 29-year-old Alejandro Garcia-Villanueva was identified as the suspect in the stabbing incident at Levi's Stadium.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities announced that an arrest has been made in connection to a stabbing that happened at a Levi's Stadium soccer match on Sunday that left one man critically injured.

Santa Clara police said that 29-year-old Alejandro Garcia-Villanueva was identified as the suspect in the stabbing incident at Levi's Stadium and is in custody.

In a statement, police said that detectives from the Sacramento Police Department and the Santa Clara Police Department arrested suspect Alejandro Garcia-Villanueva at his residence on Tuesday.

"With the advanced video technology at Levi's Stadium and vital community input, swift action by the SCPD allowed detectives to positively identify both the suspect and the person of interest within 24 hours of the incident," SCPD said.

At 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Sacramento Police Department detectives contacted the suspect on the 3300 block of 22nd Avenue in Sacramento. Police say Garcia-Villanueva surrendered and was placed under arrest without incident.

Detectives also contacted the person of interest with suspect Garcia-Villanueva and served a search warrant of Garcia-Villanueva's residence and located evidence.

He is now booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail and charged with the attempted murder of San Jose resident Emmanuel Diaz Leal.

RELATED: 'God or luck': Man describes being stabbed during massive fight at Levi's Stadium soccer game

The stabbing occurred after a massive fight at Levi's Stadium during the CONCACAF Gold Cup game between Mexico and Qatar Sunday night.

Dozens of videos, phone calls and pictures came in to Santa Clara Police after the brutal brawl. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Cuong Phan says that information from the public helped lead to an arrest.

"What was great was, within 24 hours of our press release, our community provided vital information that led to the identification and the arrest of suspect Alejandro Garcia Villanueva," Lt. Phan said.

"We would not have been able to swiftly arrest Mr. Garcia-Villanueva without the public's assistance on this one," Lt. Phan said. "We are very grateful that the community was able to trust us with the information that they provided."

Just as Police are grateful for the communities help, Diaz is grateful for his life after getting stabbed during a fight between fans at the Mexico versus Qatar Gold Cup Soccer Match.

RELATED: San Jose man fights for his life after violent attack outside Levi's Stadium, suspect facing felony charges

The 30-year-old told our partners at Univision he's thankful the knife used in the attack didn't hit his throat or heart.

"If he would've hit me lower or above," Diaz said. "It was God or luck because if he would've hit me here I don't think I would've been able to breathe or swallow and I can do those things now."

Santa Clara Police could not confirm whether or not the knife seen in videos of the fight was recovered, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Lieutenant Phan says it's still unknown how the weapon made its way past metal detectors and security at the event.

"We're reviewing any footage that we can see how Mr. Garcia-Villanueva was able to bring the knife into the stadium," Lt. Phan said. "Just so you understand, we are constantly evaluating our safety procedures and there is going to be an internal investigation being held by security teams at the stadium."

Levi's Stadium released the following statement:

"The safety of our guests is our highest priority and we condemn the act of violence that took place at the stadium on Sunday. In collaboration with local, state and federal agencies, Levi's Stadium employs security industry best practices for all events across the board. We regularly evaluate our security protocols and are in the process of conducting an internal investigation alongside Santa Clara Police to identify areas for improvement. We're thankful for the diligent work of the local police both during the event and in the days since."

The next event at Levi's Stadium is another soccer match on July 22.

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