Suspect in Massachusetts Teen Stabbing Caught in Connecticut

A man suspected of stabbing a 17-year-old boy at a restaurant in Chelsea, Massachusetts last month has been captured in Connecticut.

Massachusetts State Police said Juan Santana-Ruiz, 40, is accused of stabbing the teen nearly to death at Plaza Mexico.

Police responded to the restaurant shortly before 9 p.m. on March 22 to investigate the stabbing and spoke with witnessed who said “Carrera,” a man known to frequent the establishment, had gotten into a fight with a 17-year-old boy and was removed from the establishment, but he forced his way back inside, police said.

As the teen and his family members were going out the back door, Santana-Ruiz approached, stabbed the victim in the abdomen and ran back through the restaurant and out the front door, prosecutors said.

A witness drove the teen to Massachusetts General Hospital in Chelsea, then an ambulance brought him to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he went through emergency surgery, police said.

The police investigation included reviewing surveillance footage from inside and outside the restaurant, which showed a man fleeing up Forsyth Street with an object in his hand. Then, it showed him return, get into a gray Honda Odyssey and drive away, police said. Investigators also found a knife with what appeared to be dried blood on it behind a building at Forsyth Street and Washington Avenue.

The investigation also included social media.

Chelsea detectives obtained a Facebook friend request from a witness, which led police to Santana-Ruiz and a Registry of Motor Vehicles photograph that match the image from surveillance footage, according to state police.

Armed with a warrant for his arrest, police went to Santana-Ruiz’s Everett, Massachusetts home to arrest him, but he was not there.

On April 3, Massachusetts and Connecticut state police took Santana-Ruiz into custody somewhere in Connecticut. It’s not clear where he was found.

During a hearing in Hartford Superior Court last week, he waived extradition proceedings and Chelsea Police returned him to Massachusetts on Friday.

He was arraigned on Monday and Assistant District Attorney Vincent DeMore asked that Santana-Ruiz be held in lieu of $250,000 bail, but bond was set at $200,000 bail.

Santana-Ruiz has been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery. He is due in court on May 14.

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