SAN DIEGO — A man accused of fatally stabbing another man on Thanksgiving Day in the Midway area of San Diego was arrested in the city of Ventura on Wednesday morning according to the Ventura Police Department. Forrest Robert Brantley, 38, was taken into custody almost 200 miles north of San Diego a day after he was identified by San Diego police.
Authorities reached out to the public Tuesday for help in tracking down the parolee-at-large suspected of stabbing another man in the neck in the Midway area on Thanksgiving Day.
The stabbing occurred around 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28 in the 3100 block of Sports Arena Boulevard, according to police. The San Diego Police Department dispatched officers who found the man with "significant trauma to his neck."
The 55-year-old victim was later identified as Robert Frank Erbe.
Medics took Erbe to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, SDPD Sgt. Michelle Velovich said.
The investigation revealed the two men had some kind of altercation prior to the stabbing. The reason for the confrontation between Brantley, who is from Ventura, and Erbe was unclear, though the suspect has a long history run-ins
with the law.
"A review of superior court databases shows Brantley has been arrested 34 times since 2000," Ventura police Cmdr. David Dickey said. "The charges included burglary, robbery, elder abuse, drug-related offenses and property crimes. At the time of his [latest] arrest ... he was on active parole for attempted robbery, burglary, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.''
In September 2016, Brantley was arrested after allegedly breaking into a gift shop at a historic Spanish mission in downtown Ventura, stealing two crucifixes and using them to bludgeon five people, including a 75-year-old man, on nearby roadsides, according to published reports.
There were reports that Brantley was spotted in Ventura on Tuesday afternoon just hours after being identified by police, but later that night authorities told CBS Los Angeles they could not confirm the man spotted was, in fact, the wanted suspect. The reported sighting on Tuesday prompted local police to put a community college on lockdown while they searched for the suspect.
On Wednesday, police officers spotted Brantley around 10 a.m. and recognized him from fugitive-suspect alerts. They arrested him without incident.
The suspect, whose listed occupation in jail records is tattoo artist, was booked early Wednesday afternoon into county jail in Ventura pending transfer to the San Diego area to face charges in the homicide case.