by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com
SAN DIEGO – A Filipino American was released from county jail after being wrongly accused of stabbing a 24-year-old woman, according to a San Diego Police spokesperson.
The San Diego Police Department released Gerardo Pascual, 42, due to lack of evidence last Wednesday. Pascual was arrested on February 10 after the victim identified him as her attacker.
The attack happened outside the UTC Shopping mall in University City. The woman was in the parking lot when a man came up from behind and stabbed her five times in an attempted car jacking. She fled her attacker and collapsed in front of the mall entrance. The stabbing was not fatal. Reports say she is in good condition after the attack.
She told police that an Asian man attacked her before identifying Pascual as the suspect. Police arrested Pascual later that day.
Throughout his detention, Pascual maintained his innocence. According to the local San Diego NBC news, Pascual arrived at UTC from the Old Town station at 4:30 pm, which would make it impossible for him to have stabbed the victim at 4:26, which is when police say the stabbing occurred.
“I didn’t do anything,” said Gerardo Pascual in a jailhouse interview with NBC 7/39. “They got the wrong person.”
Pascual’s attorney Tom Mathews said that the victim was mistaken.
“I have a feeling that one of the reasons he was identified so quickly is because of the problems inherent in cross-racial IDs,” said Matthews to NBC. “I think police made an error in having the victim identify someone so quickly because of the state of mind she must have been in at the time. She just had a traumatic horrific experience and no way could have been in a sound state of mind to make an important decision as to who was her perpetrator.”
Police have downgraded Pascual to a “person of interest” and will continue to investigate the case.