Gilroy 26-year-old charged with murder in Rio Nilo stabbing

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Burglaries

The Santa Clara County District Attorney charged Osiris Munoz
Quintero with murder and assault with a deadly weapon Thursday
afternoon in connection with the fatal downtown stabbing at Rio
Nilo early in the morning March 16.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney charged Osiris Munoz Quintero with murder and assault with a deadly weapon Thursday afternoon in connection with the fatal downtown Gilroy stabbing at Rio Nilo early in the morning March 16.

Gilroy Police arrested Quintero, 26, March 25 at 850 El Cerrito Way for violating the conditions of his probation after Sheriff’s passed along an anonymous tip naming Quintero. The tip led undercover GPD officers to Cochrane Road near Anderson Reservoir in unincorporated Morgan Hill, where Quintero’s former employer lives.

Once there, police located the gold 1998 Chrysler Sebring with a black convertible top and a broken passenger window, which matched witnesses descriptions from the murder scene. Someone had thrown a flash light through the suspect’s car as he sped away, witnesses said. Police also found other evidence at the scene, but declined to disclose exactly what they confiscated.

After matching the car to Quintero, GPD searched his Gilroy residence and arrested him on probation violation for unlawfully possessing ammunition.

While he sat in county jail in San Jose, GPD Detective Stan Devlin built the case against Quintero and presented it to county Deputy District Attorney Dana Overstreet in San Jose Thursday afternoon. The DA filed charges about 4 p.m. Thursday. Quintero will appear in San Martin Superior Court Friday morning for his arraignment.

Police are also searching for another vehicle – a silver pickup truck with double tires on the rear axle – that drove away from the scene of the stabbing death after the convertible.

Stabbed in the crosswalk

It was about 1:15 a.m. and Bob Tapella, owner of Garlic City Billiards, had already closed up shop for the night when he saw a bunch of security guards running north on Monterey Street following a car, he said. The car went to Fifth Street and then turned left, speeding out of sight westbound.

Hearing screams coming from behind his business, he headed out the back door of the billiard’s parlor and saw three people in the middle of Martin Street near its intersection with the railroad tracks – less than a block east of Monterey Street and downtown.

Juan DeDios Arvizu Cabrera, 26, of Castroville, was lying spread eagle on his back, his feet facing westward. He had staggered east on Martin Street and collapsed near the railroad tracks.

Another man, Adan Arvizu Cabrera, 23, of Salinas, was also involved in the fight and suffered non-life threatening knife wounds, police said. He was taken to an area hospital to be treated and is scheduled to be released later today.

“(Juan Cabrera) had a white shirt and his whole shirt was full of blood,” Tapella said of the 26-year-old.

Tapella rushed over to Juan Cabrera, who was still moving and talking but quickly losing his mental faculties, he said. Two other men – also covered in blood and one of whom was possibly Adan Cabrera – knelt above the 26-year-old, crying and wailing.

Adan and Juan Cabrera and the two suspects in the stabbing death might have been inside the club – located at 7474 Monterey St. – and were kicked out of it, Tapella said.

At 1:18 a.m., Tapella called police and told them of the stabbing. At that point, several security guards from Rio Nilo and the owner of the club were outside with him and the three men.

Juan Cabrera was later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Police are searching for two suspects in the stabbings – a white or Hispanic adult male who was wearing a blue, button-down shirt and another man for whom police did not release a description.

The Sebring that police were searching for had been parked on the south side of Martin Street about halfway between the railroad tracks and Monterey Street, Tapella said.

Tapella did not know where the truck was parked but said it also sped west on Martin Street, north on Monterey Street and then west on Fifth Street. The truck had a silver toolbox in the back, Tapella said.

Personnel at Rio Nilo would not comment on the incident until they talked with police. Police have not returned phone calls.

Few killings, but both downtown

The death of Juan Cabrera is the only violent death of 2008 and the first killing in Gilroy almost 11 months. However, both attacks occurred downtown about three blocks apart.

“Last year – murder downtown,” Tapella said Sunday afternoon while walking over the crime scene, pointing out the details of the incident and waving to people walking and biking by. “This year – murder downtown. It’s not good.”

Early in the morning of April 29, 2007, 56-year-old Juan Lugo was found in an alley behind La Colonia Latina, located on Monterey Street between Eighth and Old Gilroy streets. Lugo, whose body was riddled with stab wounds, lay next to his bluish 10-speed bicycle, on which he was known to circle downtown, neighbors and police said.

Police have been unable to find a motive for the killing. Lugo, from whom nothing was stolen – not even the cash in his wallet – was widely rumored to be gay, Lugo’s son said, but police have not investigated the case as a hate crime.

In mid-May, police arrested 21-year-old Tomas Martinez Romero and turned him over to the district attorney, who charged him with murder. However, the charge was dropped two months later. Romero is now being charged with two counts of attempted murder and other charges in an unrelated shooting.

Sunday morning, police again set up a crime scene in downtown, blocking off Martin Street from Monterey Street to Railroad Street so they could collect evidence. Among other things, police towed away two cars – one of which had two spots of blood on it – to put into evidence and firefighters hosed down the scene so that there was no sign of blood, Tapella said.

Due to the block being cordoned off, OD’s Kitchen closed for the day and put up a sign saying it would reopen Monday morning.

Other local business owners and developers worry that two killings downtown in less than a year will drive away potential customers and business owners.

The stabbing death is “a black eye for the downtown,” said developer Gary Walton, who owns the building at the intersection of Martin and Monterey streets where a skate shop now sits. “It gives the impression that the downtown is not that safe” – an unfair conclusion when Gilroy’s crime rates are compared to other nearby cities, he said.

Despite the killing, Rio Nilo was open again Sunday night about 10 p.m., with loud Spanish music blasting out the doors, manned by two security guards. The guards frisked all the men – a practice that was in place before Sunday morning’s incident, guards said – in the cowboy hat-donning crowd before stamping their hand and letting them inside.

With Rio Nilo and other bars still drawing a crowd, business owners believe that a potential for crime will continue to exist due to the outpouring of revelers that occurs when bars close at 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

“You have an area that definitely needs more police patrols, particularly when these bars are getting out,” Walton said.

How you can help

Anyone with information can contact Gilroy Police Department Detective Stan Devlin at 846-0335. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call and leave information at 846-0330.