Officials charged a man with murder Wednesday in connection with the fatal stabbing of another man during a fight at a Monterey Park pizza parlor following a Pop Warner football game, authorities said.
Jose De Jesus Ruiz, also identified by officials as Jose De Jesus Salas, 22, of Bakersfield, entered no plea to the murder charge in Alhambra Superior Court, court officials said. He was ordered to return to court Oct. 25 for an arraignment.
In addition to murder, he’s accused of the special, sentence-enhancing allegation that he personally used a knife in the killing, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Killed in the alleged attack was 25-year-old Patrick Ortega of Monterey park, coroner’s officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the stabbing, which took place just after 7 p.m. Saturday at Shakey’s, 1955 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Ruiz was not believed to be a parent or coach of a youth football player, but was a friend of team parents who attended the game and accompanied the group to the pizza parlor, district attorney’s and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“A group of fans with a rival team were also at the restaurant,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “A verbal argument escalated into a physical fight. During the fight, Ruiz allegedly fatally stabbed (Ortega).”
County booking records indicated Ortega was being held without bail pending trial.
If convicted as charged, Ruiz could face 26 years to life in prison, officials said.