Student recovering after being stabbed at Aptos college

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A 19-year-old woman was stabbed with a knife just before noon Wednesday at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. It happened inside the cafeteria as students were gathering for a campus-wide Halloween celebration. (KGO-TV)

A 19-year-old woman was stabbed with a knife just before noon Wednesday at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. It happened inside the cafeteria as students were gathering for a campus-wide Halloween celebration.

"We're usually on high alert anyway, because you know, of the society we live in now," said Chelsea Warner, Cabrillo College student and Scotts Valley resident.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office says the suspect, 40-year-old Steven Wooding, was a former student in the early 90s. The college got a restraining order against him about a week and a half ago after authorities say he spent months harassing staff members on the phone.

"It doesn't look like they have any relationship, it doesn't look like there was any reason he would've attacked her, other than him coming to campus and wanting to do this," says Sgt. Brian Cleveland, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

Sources tell ABC7 News the suspect was previously arrested in 1994 for assaulting a Cabrillo staff member with a wooden ax. He spent several years at a psychiatric institution for the crime.

On Wednesday, college officials credited first responders for their swift response and also praised the cafeteria manager, Rad Altwal, who they say apprehended the suspect until law enforcement could arrive.

"Great to see people taking care of each other, and acting as a community, without pausing to think about what might happen to their own selves, but thinking about how to prevent harm to others," said Cabrillo College executive Terrence Willett.

Students say while the incident was unnerving, they're grateful the situation wasn't worse.

"Especially in the cafeteria in the middle of the day where everyone's around," says Warner.

The victim is currently in stable condition at a trauma center in San Jose. The suspect has been booked on charges of attempted murder. His bail has been set at $750,000.
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