LOCAL : La Habra Man, 23, Arrested in Stabbing Death of Teen-Ager

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports</i>

Homicide investigators have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the stabbing death of a La Habra teen-ager who was attacked in a gang-related incident last weekend, police said today.

Ronald E. Zaring of La Habra was taken into custody near his Chesham Avenue home Wednesday evening, La Habra Police Lt. Joe Milazzo said. Police said witnesses, who usually refuse to cooperate in gang violence cases out of fear of retaliation, were assisting authorities.

His was the first of what police hope will be several arrests following the slaying Sunday of Augustin Ruiz, 18, whose bloody body was found lying between two homes in the 200 block of East Pacific Street.

A team of officers and detectives were serving search warrants at undisclosed locations in an effort to piece together clues in the knife attack.


Witnesses told police that they saw several men chasing Ruiz into a dark grassy area between two houses. Ruiz apparently screamed before he was stabbed repeatedly, witnesses told police.

Milazzo said circumstantial and physical evidence linking Zaring and other suspects to the stabbing were found at the scene. He declined to elaborate on what was found or how Zaring may be linked.