SAN JOSE -- An off-duty bouncer was stabbed to death in a bizarre sequence outside a downtown nightclub that ended with the arrest of his alleged assailant early Wednesday morning in what marked the area's second slaying -- and third violent attack -- in a week, authorities and witnesses said.

The unusually bloody stretch coincides with the allocation this week of $200,000 in police overtime pay to fund an additional downtown patrol five days a week, a move city officials said had been in the works before the recent bouts of violence.

Wednesday's victim, a man in his 20s, worked at Johnny V's on Santa Clara Street but was not on the clock when he was at the bar Tuesday night, owner Johnny Van Wyk said. At some point a man with an attaché of knives typically carried by chefs tried to enter the bar and was allowed inside after checking the blades at the door.

Van Wyk said over the course of about half an hour, the man was asked to leave for what he described as boorish behavior.

"He was pestering all the females, and a couple of people complained about him," he said.

The man complied, got his knives back, and walked along the block toward First Street. That's when the off-duty bouncer, who was well-regarded in the downtown community, left the bar and ran after the man, apparently catching up with him at the intersection of First and Santa Clara.

"All of a sudden he was going after him," Van Wyk said. "It's not really in his nature. He's a really friendly guy."


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When bar staff caught up to the scene, the victim was found on the ground suffering from a stab wound at 1:18 a.m. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. His identity is being withheld until his family is notified of his death.

Meanwhile, witnesses pointed arriving officers in the direction where the man with the knives fled, and they caught and arrested him a short distance away. The knife thought to have been used in the stabbing was recovered, police said.

Police said some sort of dispute between the victim and suspect happened inside the bar, but Van Wyk said he did not see any confrontation between the two.

Van Wyk said that in more than a decade of running the bar and music venue, this was by far the most violent incident he's seen.

"I've been in that spot 11 years, and a few things have happened, but nothing on this level," he said. "Everyone's really shook up."

The death marked the city's sixth homicide of the year and the third downtown stabbing reported since Feb. 6, when 26-year-old Jason Rosario was stabbed to death near Market Street and Paseo de San Antonio next to the Fairmont Hotel and across the street from Cesar Chavez Park. A day later, on Friday, a man was critically injured after he was stabbed inside a parking garage a few blocks south of that scene.

On Monday, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office arrested 29-year-old Jacob Docimo in San Mateo in connection with the Friday stabbing.

Morales said none of the attacks appear to be connected. Downtown leaders said the lack of a random element in the past week's violence should compel residents to view it as an anomaly.

"This is highly unusual," said Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association.

Knies pointed to burgeoning downtown businesses as a more reflective indicator of the area's trajectory. He added that the recently approved police overtime allocation -- which will fund foot patrol shifts for one sergeant and four officers -- will help alleviate anxieties about downtown safety by increasing the visibility of uniformed officers.

A National Citizen Survey that found just 21 percent of city residents felt safe downtown after dark. But Councilman Sam Liccardo, whose district includes most of downtown, insists the police overtime allocation was not poll driven.

Police have been dealing with ongoing gang tensions, drug dealing, car thefts and burglaries in downtown plus issues regarding the homeless and graffiti.

"Concerns around everything from drug dealing to thuggery have prompted the need for us to allocate more resources to address what we're seeing and feeling on the street," he said. "That being said, downtown is increasing in vibrancy. These recent events were a tragic interruption in what is otherwise a rapidly revitalizing downtown."

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.