By LUCY GUANUNA
As police continue their search for three suspects responsible for last week’s fatal stabbing in Echo Park, the owner of a Highland Park pet grooming shop where the victim had once worked will host a fundraiser on Sunday for the slain man’s family.
Groom to Bloom is seeking donations to cover the funeral costs of Highland Park resident Carlos Arellano, 22, who was was fatally stabbed a week ago today as Echo Park was crowded with visitors attending the Echo Park Rising music festival. Arellano and his girlfriend were walking on Sunset near Laveta Terrace at about 11:30 p.m. when he was approached by three men coming from the opposite direction. Witnesses said he tried to defend himself with a skateboard he was carrying before he was fatally stabbed in the stomach area .
“It was such a senseless crime,” said grooming store owner Brenda Castello, who described Arellano as a loyal and sweet employee. “I’ve know the family personally for seven years. They are good people and we felt we needed to do something to help the family.
“He was not the gang type or the type to get in fights, but he was always a skater, so I do believe the story that he would defend himself with his skateboard,” said Castello. She remained friends with Arellano after he left her shop about two years ago to start another job and begin studying to become a chef.
The fundraiser on Sunday, August 24 will be held at 9 a.m. at Groom to Bloom, located at 6185 N Figueroa St. in Highland Park. People are encouraged to bring their pets for grooming. Employees will be volunteering their time and all proceeds will go to the Arellano family.
Meanwhile, police are seeking the public’s help in solving the crime. At least one witness told officers that one of the three suspects punched Arellano in the jaw. He then swung his skateboard at the three men before he was stabbed, falling to the ground as his girlfriend screamed.
Police have been working with gang detectives to find the suspects and are conducting probation checks throughout the neighborhood’s known gang members. They are also searching through surveillance camera footage. Police have put up flyers around the neighborhood where the incident happened in the hopes that witnesses will come forward.
“There were many people at the festival and there were a lot of people around when this happened but only a handful of people will come forward,” said LAPD homicide detective Lisa Governo. “We want people to call if they saw anything.”
The phone number for the Northeast Division station is (323) 344-5701.
Lucy Guanuna has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.