According to police, at about 3:15 p.m., Jan. 3, the 911 emergency call center dispatched officers to the Wendy’s fast-food restaurant at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center in reference to an assault.
Investigation revealed a young Hispanic male, identified as 21-year-old Andres Ponce Jr. of Bethlehem Village, approached an older Hispanic man from behind and stabbed him several times in the shoulder and back. The attack was stopped by a Ponce family member who was with the suspect. Ponce was detained by an off-duty police officer who was nearby.
The victim, whose name was not released in accordance with VIPD policy, left the restaurant and was transported to the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital for treatment. His condition was not reported in a news release issued Tuesday.
Ponce, who police said is reported to suffer from mental illness, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and carrying or using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence. He was unable to post $25,000 bail and was turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending his advice of rights hearing.