Man charged in Halloween morning burglary that ended with man slashed

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man has been charged with stabbing another man during an early morning burglary north of downtown Fort Wayne on Halloween.

Daniel Vega, 25, of Fort Wayne has been charged with Burglary with a Deadly Weapon where a serious bodily injury occured and Battery with a Deadly Weapon.

Daniel Vega, 25, of Fort Wayne

According to the probable cause affidavit, officers were sent to the 1100 block of Franklin Avenue just before 2:15 a.m. on reports of a stabbing. Responding officers found a man, identified as Ethan Nei, suffering from an apparent “slash wound to the stomach.”

He was taken to an area hospital where doctors determined his injuries to be life threatening, court documents said.

Officers were able to speak with Nei who said two men came into his apartment with guns and attempted to rob him. He got into a fight with them and was slashed across the stomach. Nei said the only other person with him was a girl named Caitlin, later identified as Caitlin Alejandro.

The affidavit said that two witnesses spoke with police. One witness said that she saw three people running to a large black SUV with a loud exhaust before heading westbound. Another witness said that “Ethan has a girl that comes around” who drives a black SUV with a loud exhaust and spray painted black rims.

During a search of the area, officers found a pry bar at the top of the stairs, a box cutter, and what appeared to be a BB gun laying in the apartment. A “moderate amount of blood” was found on the concrete steps that lead to the downstairs apartment where officers found Nei. There was also a rifle style BB gun lying near the blood with a blood trail leading back to the upstairs apartment storm door.

Minutes after the first reported stabbing, officers were sent to the St. Joe Hospital for a walk-in stabbing victim, later identified as Vega, court documents said.

Officers watched hospital security footage which showed Vega arriving at the hospital in a vehicle matching the description of a dark colored SUV registered to Alejandro. A woman appeared to be driving. Vega said this was his wife, Alejandro. She had picked him up and taken him to the hospital with his friend, Tony Dominguez.

Officered spoke with Alejandro on the phone. She admitted to being at Nei’s apartment for roughly 30 minutes before two individuals broke in. She said that she arrived to the apartment and left alone. However, she later admitted to knowing the two individuals, identified as Vega and Dominguez, and that she drove to the apartment and left with them. Court documents said that she then drove Vega to the hospital before dropping Dominguez at his vehicle which was parked at her home.

The affidavit said that Alejandro later left a voicemail for an officer where she said she already admitted to being with Vega and Dominguez. She said that there would be blood in the trunk from Vega, but she didn’t know if Dominguez was bleeding. Alejandro added that Vega and Dominguez were being “ran up by someone with a knife so Tony reacted the way he did because of that,” and she was going to try to get Dominguez to be honest with police.

Officers interviewed Vega who admitted to driving to Nei’s house with his wife, Alejandro. He was in the SUV with Dominguez waiting for Alejandro to get money from Nei and were “messing around with two bb-guns” while they waited. They decided to go upstairs with the bb-guns to tell Alejandro they were ready to leave when Nei began attacking them with a knife.

Vega said he was stabbed by Nei before Dominguez grabbed a knife, slashed Nei and ran away, court documents said.

When asked about the crow bar, Vega first told officers that he didn’t know anything. The affidavit said that at the end of the interview he said that his fingerprints would be on the crow bar because he grabbed it and swung it at Nei.

Vega was arrested on Nov. 2. He is scheduled to be in court on Wednesday.

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