You know how to it goes. You’re visiting a friend, shooting the breeze, enjoying a few laughs. Before long, you have a disagreement over something. The discussion becomes heated. Next thing you know, your friend pulls out a knife and slits your throat.
Wait a minute! That last part doesn’t usually happen. Yet it did happen to a 41-year-old San Leandro resident the morning of Wednesday, September 17, according to the San Leandro Police Department. The victim is fine, by the way. The injuries were nasty but non-life-threatening.
The alleged perpetrator was 31-year-old Elroy Pedro Gomez Jr., also a San Leandro resident. The crime took place at Gomez’s parents’ home in the 900 block of Kramer Street. Police don’t say what the argument was about, but it escalated rapidly, according to the victim, and ended with Gomez brandishing a knife and slashing the victim’s throat twice, leaving a couple of 2” – 3” long lacerations, just missing the carotid artery. The victim was taken to Eden Medical Center’s Regional Trauma Center in Castro Valley, where he was treated and released, according to an SLPD news release.
How the police became aware of the assault is itself a story. Around 10:00 a.m., witnesses reported seeing a man bleeding from his neck walking near Lewelling Boulevard and Washington Avenue, a few blocks from Gomez’ residence. The victim told the deputy sheriff dispatched to the area that he had just been stabbed by his friend.
Detectives discovered that Gomez was a wanted “parolee at large.” That fact and the severity of the injuries to the victim helped them obtain an arrest warrant for Gomez for attempted murder. Undercover detectives set up all-day surveillance on the Kramer Street residence. Around 5:30 p.m., they spotted Gomez inside the home. SLPD officers and Alameda County Sheriff deputies surrounded the house as police made telephone contact with Gomez. Gomez exited the residence and surrendered to police without incident. He was arrested, booked and sent to the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
A search of the Gomez residence turned up evidence of blood inside and outside the home.
On Friday, September 19, the Alameda County District Attorney charged Gomez with one count of attempted murder involving great bodily injury. According to court records, he is scheduled to enter a plea on October 2.
“This was a very violent assault that clearly could have ended tragically,” said Lt. Robert McManus of the San Leandro Police Department. “Through great detective work and tactics, we were able to quickly locate and safely arrest Mr. Gomez, taking a violent criminal away from our community.”
Records show that Gomez has been arrested many times over the past 8 years. His offences have ranged from disorderly conduct/alcohol, DUI and driving with a suspended licence, to vehicle theft, robbery, and burglary. In 2010 he was charged with domestic violence – inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant, and in 2011 for disobeying a domestic relations court order. In addition to the attempted murder charges, he was also booked for possession of a controlled substance when arrested last week.