South Lake Tahoe police: Stabbing started as argument between roommates |

South Lake Tahoe police: Stabbing started as argument between roommates

An incident that left a South Lake Tahoe resident injured and tied-up for at least 20 hours appears to have started as an altercation between roommates, according to law enforcement. Meanwhile, the lone suspect in the case is cooperating with investigators and awaiting transport from San Bernardino jail.

Since being arrested late last week, Alberto Ochoa has cooperated with law enforcement, including detectives with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Lt. Shannon Laney told the Tribune Tuesday. The Tahoe detectives traveled down to San Bernardino County after law enforcement officers with the sheriff’s office conducted a traffic stop and arrested Ochoa, a 30-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident.

Ochoa fled the scene after a violent altercation with his roommate at an apartment in the 3600 block of Spruce Avenue last week, according to Laney. When officers arrived at the apartment Wednesday, March 29, they found the roommate bound, gagged and injured, although police at the time did not disclose the nature of the injuries. The incident was reported to law enforcement as a possible stabbing.

Later in the investigation, detectives determined the roommate, described as a 43-year-old man, had been stabbed in the hand, according to Laney. Much of the “significant amount” of blood found at the scene is believed to have come from that injury.

Detectives determined that the roommate, who was discovered after a concerned coworker went to the apartment to check on the man, had been tied-up for at least 20 hours.

He was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital where he received medical treatment.

Through interviews with Ochoa, investigators learned that he was attempting to flee to Mexico, Laney stated, while observing that Ochoa did not appear to be in a hurry. Depending on the route, the border can be reached in less than 10 hours if driving from South Lake Tahoe, according to Google maps.

Ochoa appeared to have made it to San Bernardino County in Southern California and decided to stay put for an unknown reason.

“I don’t know what he was thinking,” Laney remarked.

Ochoa was driving a 2000 Subaru Legacy stolen from the injured roommate. He was the only person in the vehicle when San Bernardino County law enforcement pulled him over and arrested him for charges of robbery, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, according to a previous press release.

Ochoa is being held in San Bernardino jail on $1-million bail. He will eventually be transported back to El Dorado County where he will be arraigned. Laney said he expects that to take place in the next week.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.