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Man Stabbed to Death in Fight Over Jacket

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A fight over a jacket escalated into the fatal stabbing of an Oxnard man in front of his fiancee, authorities said Wednesday.

Bobby Ferrer, 21, had gone to a home on Loma Drive in Meiners Oaks late Tuesday to confront whoever had ripped his Dallas Cowboys jacket at a gathering there the day before, relatives and authorities said.

Outside the home, Ferrer got into a fight with a young man who pulled a folding knife and stabbed him once in the chest, authorities said.

As Ferrer collapsed on the street--yelling “He stuck me!"--sheriff’s deputies driving by on an unrelated call saw his fiancee flailing her arms and shouting.

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The deputies stopped and tried to revive Ferrer. The suspect, 18-year-old Jose Lara of Mira Monte, peacefully surrendered.

Paramedics rushed Ferrer to Ojai Valley Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:46 p.m.

Lara was being held at Ventura County Jail on suspicion of murder, with bail set at $250,000. He is to be arraigned today.

“This was over clothes,” Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Parks said Wednesday. “It was a very short, very quick fight, and it turned deadly.”

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It was unclear whether Lara and Ferrer knew each other, and authorities were investigating possible gang links.

The stabbing occurred near Mira Monte Elementary School on a stretch of Loma Drive lined with small apartment buildings and a mobile home park.

The parents of Melissa Reyes, Ferrer’s fiancee, live about a quarter-mile down the street.

Reyes, 19, was still shaken Wednesday, sobbing uncontrollably on her parents’ porch as she recalled the stabbing. Ferrer was to turn 22 in two weeks. The couple, who lived together in north Oxnard, planned to marry soon after his birthday.

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“We had plans, we had plans!” cried Reyes, fingering her engagement ring. “That boy [the suspect] is going to pay.”

Relatives said Ferrer had drifted through a series of temporary jobs at factories and construction sites. He had two children, ages 6 and 1, from two previous relationships.

His tearful younger brother, Javier, came to Reyes’ house to comfort the woman who was to be his sister-in-law.

“He’s my only brother,” Javier Ferrer said. “He raised me, when I was young, because my dad passed away. He brought me up, that’s what he did.”

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At a relative’s home in Oxnard, Ferrer’s uncle, Angel Ferrer, had just gotten the news. He shook his head and remarked that the death apparently had sprung from an argument over the jacket, which had been written on and ripped.

Police say Cowboys attire is often worn by gang members in Oxnard’s La Colonia neighborhood, and Angel Ferrer said his nephew had friends in gangs.

“We tried to get him to stay out of trouble,” he said, adding that he had arranged for his nephew to get a job at the machine shop where he works.

“Today was going to be his first day.”

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