No Criminal Charges in UT Brownsville Stabbing Death

BROWNSVILLE–A 23-year old won’t be charged in a fatal stabbing death of a UT-Brownsville student at an off-campus apartment complex Saturday morning after police believed it was done in self defense.

Santiago Bernal, 21, was stabbed around 4:25 am when police said he went to the wrong apartment at the La Estancia Apartment located near the UT-Brownsville campus.

Bernal, who is from Monterey, Mexico was taken to the hospital where he died about an hour later.

Investigators aren’t sure if he was under the influence of alcohol or just made a mistake trying to find his apartment. They say he was mumbling names and was coherent.

The home he was trying to enter was where four women lived at the apartment complex. One of the woman’s boyfriend was there.

He told Bernal to leave and he refused. The two got into a fist fight and Bernal started to beat him up, so he stabbed him to protect himself.

“He did act in self-defense,” said Lt. Orlando Rodriguez of the Brownsville Police Department. “He  didn’t know what was going to happen for his own safety.”

Police aren’t releasing the man’s name and he won’t be charged for the stabbing. The investigation continues, meanwhile it will be up to the District Attorney’s Office to decide if any criminal charges will be filed.

UT-Brownsville officials released a statement today from Dr. Hilda Silva, Vice-President for Student Affairs.

“Our thoughts and prayer are with the family and friends of Bernal,” it stated. “Upon learning of his death, David Marquez from the Office of Dean of Students made contact with students living in the apartments and offered grief counseling through our support services.

–South Texas Tribune,

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