KEY POINTS

  • A 64-year-old Asian woman was walking her dogs in Riverside, California, Saturday when she was stabbed
  • Her alleged attacker was arrested last week for a similar incident but was released due to COVID restrictions
  • Authorities believe the attack was random but noted it was still being investigated

An elderly Asian woman was fatally stabbed on Saturday morning while walking her dogs in a California neighborhood, local authorities said.

The woman, 64-year-old Ke Chieh Meng of Riverside, was walking her two small dogs on Golden Avenue in the city's La Sierra neighborhood when she was confronted and attacked by 23-year-old Darlene Stephanie Montoya, Riverside Police Department said in a statement.

A preliminary investigation said Montoya stabbed the victim during the confrontation and fled the scene afterward. 

Authorities believe the attack was "completely random," KTLA-TV reported. 

Local police officers and paramedics from the Riverside Fire Department responded to several reports received around 7:30 a.m. of a woman down and found Meng bleeding from her abdomen area and suffering from several stab wounds, said Riverside Police spokesperson Officer Ryan Railsback.

She was taken to a local hospital but later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead, police said.

Montoya, a transient from Monterey Park in Los Angeles County, was caught shortly after the attack when authorities received calls from neighbors of a suspicious woman walking through their yards. Responding officers determined she was responsible for Meng's stabbing and placed her under arrest.

"When our detectives interviewed the suspect, they didn't come across anything to suggest she attacked the victim due to her race," Railsback said, CNN reported.

She was taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center, where she is currently being held without bail. Montoya was charged with murder, weapons violation and suspicion of being under the influence of an illegal substance.

According to police, Montoya was arrested by officers on March 30 in a similar incident where she attacked a woman with a skateboard on Tyler Avenue at the 91 Freeway overpass. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon but was released with a Notice to Appear citation due to the current emergency bail schedule forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further details have been released. Police are urging people with any additional information about the incident to come forward and contact them to help with the investigation.

Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Dan Mercadefe at 951-353-7103 or DMercadefe@RiversideCA.gov, or Detective Brett Stennett at 951 353-7213 or BStennett@RiversideCA.gov.

A similar incident occurred in New York last week when a man on parole for killing his mother was arrested after allegedly assaulting a 65-year-old Asian woman. 

168838735_10160404774201037_1610783533708780040_n Darlene Stephanie Montaya was arrested for the stabbing. Photo: Riverside Police Department