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stabbing suspect Joshua Oropeza
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Stabbing victims recovering, suspect in jail, after fight at Denny’s

Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the people who went to Denny’s restaurant in Orem with Joshua Oropeza on Friday night told police that Oropeza was “acting strange.”

That was right before Oropeza reportedly pulled out a knife and tried stabbing the people who’d taken him to the restaurant.

Police documents show that a person identified as Victim 1, and another person, identified as Victim 2, had picked up Oropeza and driven to Denny’s. Victim 1 told police that, while still outside the restaurant, Oropeza pulled out a knife and tried to stab Victim 1.

The person reportedly ran into the restaurant while being chased by Oropeza. Victim 1 was then stabbed multiple times

Three other people told police that they witnessed the stabbing and tried to restrain Oropeza and take the knife from him. Two of them were also seriously injured.

When police arrived, Oropeza was being held down by multiple people.

After he received medical attention, Oropeza was booked into the Utah County Jail for attempted homicide and three counts of aggravated assault.

Suspect’s previous stabbing history

Police documents show that Oropeza was released from juvenile parole in August 2020 for a similar incident involving a knife. At that time, two motorists who had stopped to offer assistance to Oropeza were reportedly attacked with a knife.

The 21-year-old suspect struggles with drug addiction, police say, and “cannot be a contributing member to society.” 

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