SANTA CRUZ

Santa Cruz man attacked, stabbed in leg

A 22-year-old Santa Cruz man was jumped by a group of men and stabbed multiple times in the leg in a gang-motivated attack, Santa Cruz police said.

Shortly after midnight Tuesday, the victim was leaving work near Cedar and Center streets when he was approached by a group of five or six men, Sgt. Christian Le Moss said.

The men, who police believe were gang members, challenged the victim to see if he was a rival gang member, Le Moss said.

The victim, who Le Moss said was not a gang member, tried to diffuse the situation with the men before they surrounded him.

The victim tried to run but was caught and attacked, Le Moss said. The men punched and kicked the victim in addition to stabbing him three times in his right thigh, Le Moss said.

After the attack, the victim called police from his cell phone. He was taken to Dominican Hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries, Le Moss said.

The suspects were described as 20- to 30-year-old Latino men wearing dark jackets, beanies and hats.

Santa Cruz police ask anyone with information to call the anonymous tip line at 831-420-5995 or leave a tip at www.santacruzpolice.com or on its cellphone application at http://m.santacruzpolice.com.