Local

Man allegedly stabs Tulare County employee several times

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Police say a man forced his way inside a Tulare County building, and stabbed an employee several times. They say, it was a targeted attack.

The incident happened Monday around 12:30 inside the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency on North Dinuba Boulevard in Visalia. The suspect, Bernardo Lara, has since turned himself in. He is being held on attempted murder charges.

During lunchtime Monday, a female worker was entering the building through a side employee entrance, when county officials say, the suspect, Bernardo Lara confronted her.

Allison Lambert, a Tulare County spokesperson said, "Unbeknownst to her, this gentleman was behind her. Actually pushed her aside and gained entrance to an employee only area."

Once inside, Lara quickly located the victim, and stabbed him several times. One employee pulled Lara off the man, as others called security.

Lambert explained, "As security was running to the back of our building, the assailant then exited the door he had entered and fled the scene."

Visalia Police made contact with the suspect, and just hours after the stabbing, he turned himself in. While Lara has never been a Tulare County employee, investigators say he and the victim were acquaintances, and that he planned the attack.

Sergeant Amy Watkins said, "This was not a random incident. This was an individual who was looking for someone specific in this location. This is possibly the result of some domestic violence."

County officials have since hired additional security guards to patrol the building. They've also made counselors available to employees. And although the incident is isolated, people who use the services here say they're surprised it happened in such a public place.

La-trinae Edwards said, "And I was actually going to be here yesterday and I'm kinda glad I didn't I wasn't here, because I have this one. He could have taken off and ran all around these people. It's scary."

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive his injuries.

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Tags:
stabbing, crimetracker, tulare, tulare county, visalia, local
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