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Boy Stops Attack on His Mom

Times Staff Writer

A 25-year-old woman was in critical condition Sunday after her boyfriend allegedly stabbed her repeatedly in their Ventura motel room in front of her two young children.

Ventura police officials believe the woman’s 7-year-old son saved her life Saturday night by wedging himself between his mother and her attacker. The distraction caused the attacker to flee and the victim to run from the room, screaming for help from other guests.

“The boy saved her life,” Police Sgt. Skip Young said. Neither the boy nor his 3-year-old sister was injured, but their mother was stabbed more than five times during the 11:30 p.m. attack.

Young declined to name the woman, an Oxnard resident, citing a state code that protects the identities of domestic-violence victims.

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Authorities are searching for Pascual Valencia, 26, of Oxnard. Valencia, who is the father of the 3-year-old but not the boy, fled the couple’s room at the Motel 6 on Johnson Drive, clutching the bloody knife, authorities said.

Valencia was seen running toward the nearby Santa Clara River. Ventura officers, assisted by Oxnard police, county sheriff’s deputies and a helicopter, searched the riverbed and the surrounding area for several hours but could not find him.

The victim underwent surgery Sunday afternoon at Ventura County Medical Center, authorities said.

Authorities would not disclose who was caring for her children, but in such cases they are usually placed in the custody of another family member or the county’s Child Protective Services division.

The motive for the attack is unclear, and police officials said they are eager to talk with anyone who may know Valencia or his possible whereabouts.

Superior Court records show that Valencia tangled with prosecutors briefly in 2001 over a child-support issue, but the case was dropped. Last month, he was fined more than $700 in an unemployment insurance case initiated by the Employment Development Department.


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