SANTA MONICA—On Saturday, January 18 at 1:20 a.m., police arrested five suspects who were reported to have stabbed two individuals at the Santa Monica Pier. The incident occurred when the five individuals began to have an altercation on a fishing deck at the far west end of the pier with two other people who had been fishing. When the argument grew more heated, the five suspects stabbed the two victims multiple times in the torso and arms, after which the suspects left the fishing deck.
The victims were able to report the incident to Pier and Harbor Service Officers, who in turn administered first aid. Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) officers who were working at the pier were informed of the incident and found the group of five walking east along the Pier. When they saw that the individuals matched the descriptions that the victims gave, they were promptly arrested and identified as the criminals. “There is surveillance footage of the incident but because the suspects are in custody, the video footage is considered evidence and will not be released to the media,” said Sergeant Jay Moroso in a press release.
The suspects are Araik Ovoian, 24, Gevork Bagdasaryan, 19, Alex Akob Akbari, 18, Agavni Manukyan, 18 and an unidentified male, 16. All of the suspects are from Burbank, except for Manukyan, who is from Glendale. All five suspects were booked for homicide and the four adults have a bail set for $1,000,000. One suspect, who is a minor, was booked into juvenile hall without bail.
The two victims were taken by Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics to a local trauma center and one of the victims underwent surgery for his wounds. Both victims are stable and expected to be okay.
“From what we know about the stabbing, there is no known relationship between the two groups involved in the stabbing,” said Sergeant Moroso to Canyon News. “The witnesses saw what happened, but were too far away to really hear anything between the two groups.” Since the victims are currently under treatment for their wounds, they have not yet been questioned in-depth by the police.
Anyone with information regarding this case can call the SMPD Investigations Division at 310-458-8491 during their business hours. After hours, they can call the Communications Center at 310-458-8491. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster can receive a reward of up to $1,000.