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Sylvia Ortega (San Jose Police Dept.) and the scene where she allegedly stabbed a man to death (KNTV screenshot)

‘You spit on my sister’: Knife-wielding woman killed sleeping man in broad daylight attack, police say

Sylvia Ortega (San Jose Police Dept.) and the scene where she allegedly stabbed a man to death (KNTV screenshot)

A 28-year-old woman in California has been arrested for allegedly killing a man earlier this month, fatally stabbing the victim in broad daylight while claiming that he “spit on” her sister.

Sylvia Ortega was taken into custody last week and charged with one count of first-degree murder, authorities announced.

According to a news release from the San Jose Police Department, patrol officers at about 11:19 a.m. on Sunday, June 2, responded to a report of a “person down” in the area of North 17th Street and East Santa Clara Street. The person who placed the 911 call told the emergency dispatcher that the victim was an adult male who was bleeding and not breathing.

“The caller believed the victim may have been involved in a disturbance,” the release states. “When Officers arrived, they located the adult male victim suffering from at least one stab wound. Despite life saving efforts by Officers and medics, the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The suspected assailant — later identified as Ortega — fled the area before police arrived.

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    The department’s Homicide Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation into the stabbing and quickly identified the suspect as Ortega. An arrest warrant was issued for her arrest and officers from the Special Operations MERGE Unit on June 5 located her at a residence in San Jose and took her into custody.

    The identity of the victim will be released by the Santa Clara County County Coroner’s Office after his next of kin are notified.

    Additional information about the attack was released in court documents obtained by San Francisco CW affiliate KRON.

    The report states that a woman — identified in the documents as “Witness 1” — had been with the victim at the time of the attack. She and the victim were reportedly sleeping inside of a car parked on North 17th Street when they were awakened by Ortega, who was yelling at them from outside of the car.

    At one point, the woman said that Ortega yelled, “you spit on my sister!” before opening up the passenger side door and going after the victim.

    “The female suspect and the victim were fighting on top of Witness 1. When the suspect backed away from the victim and the vehicle, Witness 1 noticed that the victim was bleeding,” police wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “Witness 1 attempted to use her phone to call 911, but the female suspect grabbed her phone, and threw it on to the ground.”

    Another witness reportedly told police that he overheard the voice of a woman he knew as “China” yelling at the time of the stabbing. He added that China was known for stabbing people and “always carried a knife.”

    KRON reported that Ortega was previously convicted of crimes in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2024, including one conviction for an assault involving a knife for which she is currently on parole.

    Ortega is currently being held in the Elmwood Correctional Facility for Women without bond.

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    The post ‘You spit on my sister’: Knife-wielding woman killed sleeping man in broad daylight attack, police say first appeared on Law & Crime.