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Suspect arrested in stabbing outside Goat Hill Tavern

Police say a 44-year-old victim was stabbed five times during an early-morning fight near the Costa Mesa bar.

January 03, 2012|By Sarah Peters and Lauren Williams

COSTA MESA — A 27-year-old Fresno man has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing a 44-year-old Westminster man five times outside a Costa Mesa bar, police said.

Stephen Frea was arrested Sunday after a fight earlier that morning at the Goat Hill Tavern's parking lot, Sgt. Ed Everett said Monday.

Police received a call at 2:17 a.m. after an altercation between Frea, the victim and several others.

As the victim was leaving the Newport Boulevard bar, he and his group of friends were confronted by Frea, whom they did not know, Everett said in an email Tuesday. They exchanged words and Frea called someone. Several moments later, Frea and others pulled up and a fight ensued.

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Frea eventually fled the scene in a Ford Escape, but witnesses were able to provide a description and partial license plate number to police, Everett said.

Detectives found Frea in Fountain Valley shortly after the incident.

The victim was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana and was in stable condition Tuesday morning.

Frea is being held at Orange County Jail on $500,000 bail, but detectives are looking to request the amount be increased to $1 million, Everett said.

Frea faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal street gang activity, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

sarah.peters@latimes.com, lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @thedailypilot

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