Victim succumbs after stabbing in Holtville, suspect arrested

Imperial County Sheriff’s deputies later arrested 35-year-old suspect Eric Portugal

HOLTVILLE — A middle of the night stabbing in the early hours of Friday in Holtville left a man dead and eventually, another behind bars, according to a press release from the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.

The Imperial Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a Holtville resident on W. 5th Street June 30 at 1:19 a.m. asking for an ambulance because of an assault by an unknown subject and a victim needing medical attention, the release said. The caller said he was woken up to call 911 for a possible stabbing and did not know the extent of the injury, according to the Sheriff’s logs.

The report said the suspect was believed to be driving an older model white Ford. Seventeen units reacted to the call, including Reach Air Ambulance and Gold Cross Ambulance. According to logs, a second caller also called 911 about the stabbing, but hung up. When deputies reportedly tried calling the number back, there was no answer.

Law enforcement arrived to find a victim lying on the roadway bleeding from the head and unable to maintain consciousness. The officers requested a medical team immediately come to the scene, according to the logs, and reported the victim had trauma to the head with a great loss of blood. Gold Ambulance requested Reach Air Medical as soon as possible.

The male victim was transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries, according to the release..

Imperial County Sheriff’s deputies later arrested 35-year-old suspect Eric Portugal in connection to the incident, according to a second police press release.

Portugal was arrested and booked into Imperial County Jail for suspected homicide. His current bail is set at $1,000,000, according to the release.