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Suspect in Denny’s stabbing attack charged with multiple felonies

Mar 10, 2021, 3:46 PM

OREM, Utah —  A man who witnesses say initiated a stabbing attack at Denny’s restaurant in Orem last Friday has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

In 4th District Court on Tuesday, Joshua Oropeza, age 21, was charged with attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and assault; second-degree and third-degree felonies, and a class A misdemeanor, respectively.

Oropeza reportedly went to Denny’s with two other people on Friday March 5. One of the people who drove with Oropeza to the restaurant told police that Oropeza was “acting strange,” and that moments later, Oropeza produced a knife and tried to stab a person referred to in police documents as Victim 1.

Victim 1 reportedly ran into the restaurant and was eventually stabbed by Oropeza in the neck. Victim 1 suffered serious injuries including a knife wound that was two to three inches deep.

Stabbing attack led to multiple injuries

Police documents show that two patrons of the restaurant tried to hold Oropeza down, and while doing so, also received stab wounds. One of the victims suffered a broken ankle.

Oropeza was also wounded in the fight. After receiving medical attention he was booked in the Utah County Jail.

Police charging documents show that Oropeza was released from juvenile parole in August 2020. The documents state that he was serving time for another, similar incident, involving a knife. In that case, a motorist had stopped to assist Oropeza by the side of the road at which point Oropeza reportedly asked for a ride and tried to sell drugs to the other driver.

When that driver refused, Oropezo reportedly “began stabbing him in the neck and chest area” according to police documents.

A detective involved in Oropezo’s recent case has stated that “Oropezo struggles with drug addiction and cannot be a contributing member to (sic) society.”

Joshua Oropeza

Joshua Oropeza was charged with multiple felonies related to a stabbing at a Denny’s in Orem that injured multiple people. Photo: Utah County jail

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Suspect in Denny’s stabbing attack charged with multiple felonies