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Accused Peninsula attackers to be arraigned Friday

Two men face charges of robbery at gunpoint, theft and stabbing a victim six times on the Balboa Peninsula

July 14, 2010|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

Two Orange County men are scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges that they robbed a man at gunpoint and later stole $50 from another man while stabbing him six times during a late-night crime spree in Newport Beach in May.

Maximiliano Bahena Jr., 20, of Orange, and Frank Zamora Rocha, 19, of Garden Grove, face attempted murder and robbery charges related to separate May 27 incidents on the Balboa Peninsula.

According to police, the crime spree began at about 1 a.m. at the Peninsula 7-Eleven at 1920 W. Balboa Blvd.

Bahena and Rocha convinced a man to buy beer for them, and when he came out with the alcohol and asked to be reimbursed, Rocha pulled out a gun, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Steve Burdette. The man dropped the beer and ran, he said.

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About a half-mile away and some 15 minutes later, police said Bahena and Rocha found their next victim. A man walking near West Balboa Boulevard and 34th Street saw Bahena and Rocha hanging out by a minivan when one of them rushed him and knocked him to the ground, Burdette said.

While the victim was down, Bahena, Rocha and possibly one or two other men joined in the attack and stole the victim's wallet, which contained $50 and his I.D., Burdette said. After the victim's attackers left him, the victim realized that he had been stabbed six times: three times in the upper-right shoulder, once in the middle of his back and twice in his lower back, Burdette said. The man survived.

Bahena and Rocha left the area but were arrested just before 5 a.m. in Fullerton for carrying a loaded handgun. They were stopped in the minivan spotted earlier by the second victim in Newport Beach, and were carrying the man's wallet and I.D., authorities said.

Fullerton police didn't connect the property until later. Bahena and Rocha were arrested in Orange by Newport Beach detectives. Each is in custody in lieu of more than $1 million bail.

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