Walter Mencken 9:21 p.m., Oct. 20
Oceanside party ends up at hospital
Door pounding interrupted beach party plans and then there was a stabbing
Lorenzo banged on the front door of an Oceanside home at midnight and got a knife in his side, and then made the ride to hospital in a well-stocked limousine with a former porn actress, according to testimony in a San Diego County Superior Courthouse this week.
The stabbing victim, Lorenzo Esparza, was described as a Mexican Mafia “dropout;” he reportedly joined La Eme while doing a stint in prison. However, Lorenzo is still considered a member of the Escondido street gang named Diablos, according to police.
Oceanside police detective Mark LaVake testified at a hearing for two brothers from Oceanside, the two were charged with attempted murder. The detective said that some people know better than to approach the Sroufe house at 1466 Hunsaker Street without phoning first, because “things like this could happen.”
An officer went to speak with Lorenzo at hospital the same night he got stabbed, but Lorenzo had breathing apparatus in his mouth and was heavily sedated. It was a serious injury, a four-inch wound on Lorenzo’s left side perforated his lung and liver and intestines. At some point the patient “woke up fighting” and punched out a nurse, a defense attorney told the judge, during the hearing August 6, 2013. And Lorenzo admitted drinking alcohol and smoking meth before he approached the house, although detective LaVake said Lorenzo told him he “wasn’t too high.”
Investigators were able to speak with 24-year-old Romie Zayak, the female companion of Lorenzo, who was at his bedside in hospital. Romie was not cooperative at first, making obscene gestures at officers while they took evidence photos, but eventually she did speak with him, the detective said.
Romie Zayak said she hired a limousine that evening “to party.” (Romie might be described as a party girl, see her IMDb webpage under the screen name Sadie West.) Romie was part of a group on the way to the beach in Oceanside that night, she told the detective. (The number of persons inside the limo was not made clear.) The limo driver was directed to pull over on California Street because Romie wanted to smoke (no smoking in the limo, she said). Then Romie and Lorenzo went for a walk, and they smoked and chatted until they rounded the street corner, and that was when Romie suggested they should go retrieve a laptop computer she said was stolen; Romie believed her computer was inside the house at 1466 Hunsaker Street, the detective told the court.
Lorenzo Esparza later admitted to investigators that he did have a large knife in his hand when he and Romie were on the porch, according to testimony. And there was a 9mm Glock handgun in Lorenzo’s backpack – but Lorenzo said his backpack got “cut off” him at some point and he doesn’t know what happened to his Glock.
Lorenzo and Romie were unexpectedly rushed on the front porch, and Lorenzo suffered a beating and he ended up in the asphalt street, stabbed. The limousine drove up and he was pulled in.
“The knife was still in his side,” detective LaVake said. The persons in the limo allowed Lorenzo to lie across them while “he was holding the knife in his own hand,” the detective testified.
Andrew Ryan Sroufe, 31, and Matthew William Sroufe, 26, are now charged with attempted murder. The brothers plead not-guilty through their public defenders. The prosecutor and public records suggest that each defendant has prior criminal convictions.
The alleged crime happened in December of 2012; the case has been delayed because many witnesses have criminal cases of their own, and some are in federal custody, according to statements made in court.
After a two-hour hearing on August 6, 2013, both Sroufe brothers were ordered to answer the attempted-murder charge. Honorable Judge Kathleen Lewis noted, “The victim certainly doesn’t have clean hands” and she commented “I do think the case should probably be settled.”
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