Japanese American man found stabbed in Orange County dies

TUSTIN, Calif. — Detectives are searching for a murder suspect after a Japanese American man was found stabbed on a street in Tustin and later died, the city’s police department announced Dec. 10.

The victim has been identified as David Nakaki, a 62-year-old resident of the neighborhood in Tustin where he was attacked at about 8:45 p.m. Dec. 9, by an unknown assailant and left for dead in the southbound lanes of Prospect Avenue near Norwood Park Place, according to Tustin Police Lt. Andrew Birozy.

The Associated Press reported that a passing motorist, Pisith Hem, had been riding in a car with his cousin when they saw a man lying in the street. They stopped the car and went to aid the victim, who was lying on the ground near the curb with his face to the pavement, bleeding out of his mouth. The passerby immediately alerted the authorities by calling 911.

Tustin Police Department officers responding to the call that night found the victim bleeding from a single stab wound to his upper body, Lt. Birozy told the Nichi Bei Weekly over the telephone.

In spite of frantic life-saving measures by the officers, paramedics, and hospital staff, the victim succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.
Birozy said the area on Prospect Avenue where Nakaki went for a walk when he was attacked “is a residential neighborhood, and we generally don’t have any violent types of crimes over there. It’s unusual, definitely, for that area.”

Police reported that they currently have no suspect description and no possible motive for this violent attack, but they are reviewing surveillance videos from nearby homes and hope to track down the assailant.

On the same night and at the same time as the assault on Nakaki in Tustin, the Santa Ana Police Department dealt with a carjacking, a pursuit and a stabbing, Birozy stated. “Originally, we thought, and Santa Ana Police also thought, that our victim was involved as a result of the Santa Ana incident. But, shortly after, we realized that, unfortunately, they were two separate incidents.”

Tustin Police Department has urged that anyone with additional information regarding this crime contact Det. Eric Haug at (714) 573-3246 or the Tustin Police Department Watch Commander at (714) 573-3220.

Tustin, located in Orange County, lies approximately 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and just east of Santa Ana, the county seat. According to the Tustin Website, the city has a population of 82,344, with 15,299 persons (about 20.3 percent) of Asian ethnicity.

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