Man who stabbed Indian students in Fremont was on probation for serious crimes

Ritu Jha–

The man who stabbed two Indian students while they were on their way to buy a soft drink at a local store in Fremont City, California, on Nov 17, was on probation and mandatory supervision, according to court documents. Meanwhile, one of the victims is released from the hospital but another is still undergoing life-saving surgeries, according to his family.

Miguel Angel Villareal, 28, appeared in the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin Court on Nov. 27, wearing white and green striped T-shirt, stood behind the glass window to hear revocation of probation from his previous case. The judge in the current case, Jeff Choney, set Dec 11, as the date of hearing for the stabbing case.

Judge Choney did not set any bail amount for Villareal, and given the sensitivity of the case, decided not to disclose the address of the two victims (as per convention they have been named John Doe in the docket)

Villareal is housed in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California.

Police said that Villareal has a “lengthy criminal history, including an arrest for robbery, battery on a person inflicting serious bodily injury, resisting an officer, and related drug-related offenses.”

However, indica learned from the court papers that Villareal was out on probation and mandatory supervision and post release, community supervision for his previous crimes.

Fremont Police spokesperson Kim Macdonald said last month in a press release, “Villareal’s motivation for this crime is currently unknown and still under investigation. Villareal was arrested for two counts of Penal Code 187(a)/664 – Attempted Murder. Villareal is set to be arraigned on November 22, 2023.”

The incident occurred on Nov 17, when three friends Syed Shadan ul Haq, Khalid Bin Masood Yafai, and Mohammad Abdul Basur Sufiyan — all from Hyderabad City in the south-central Indian state of Telangana — went to buy soft drinks from a shop at Fremont Hub, an outdoor shopping center in the city’s Central District.

It was then that Villareal, who had been hiding behind the wall, moved first to Shadan, stabbed him in his right chest and later Khalid, who is still in the hospital.

Khalid’s elder brother Arfat Bin Masood Yafai told indica on Wednesday, “My brother is scared. I have never seen him asking to stay with me. He keeps telling me to not leave him alone.”

He added, “He is young and was a fearless person, but the incident has traumatized him. Khalid is admitted at Regional Medical Center of San Jose since Nov. 17.”

Arfat said he has no idea when his brother will be discharged. “He is going through another surgery for a blood clot in his right lung. The doctors said they cannot ignore it as it could lead to infection, pneumonia and severe breathing issues.”

Khalid has already undergone two surgeries. One of the stab injuries was close to his liver. “We are concerned about our community’s safety. Why do you let dangerous people out on probation,” Arfat said. “These are mentally ill people.”

He added, “My brother will heal physically with time, but mentally I don’t know. He was never hospitalized and was a healthy person.”

Arfat said that while the detectives have shown them the video of the assault on Shadan, they are reluctant to show us Khalid’s stabbing. “They say they cannot show us.”

In a previous interview with indica, Shadan said Villareal suddenly punched and stabbed them, and he [Villareal] didn’t say anything. “We have often seen him loitering around the Fremont Hub. When I ran, he chased after me for some distance before turning to attack Masood. Fortunately, I was wearing a thick woollen jacket and that saved me from suffering a deeper stab wound. Police took my statement, and I described the perpetrator to them.”

Another friend, Mohammad Abdul Basur Sufiyan, who saw the stabbing incident, told indica in previous a interview that he was purchasing a drink from a store a short distance from the spot. Within a couple of minutes, he heard some cries and people running on the sidewalk.

Initially, he ignored it thinking some kids might be running. But the second time when he heard people running in panic, he came out from the shop and saw that his friend was seriously injured. He [Khalid] saw me, ran into the store, and collapsed.

“I saw the person who was chasing him, he saw the victim fall and ran away. I made the call to 911 and informed my friend’s brother,” Sufiyan told indica.

The victims’ families have set up a GoFundMe page and has raised $24,000 that will support their medical and post rehabilitation costs.

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