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Brothers Stabbed, Robbed Outside Mobile Home Park

Deputies search for a third suspect in an armed robbery that led victims on a wild ride through Lake Forest and Mission Viejo.

Two brothers were stabbed outside a Lake Forest mobile home park Wednesday night as they were robbed of $700 in cash.

The elder brother had rushed to the aid of his sibling during the armed robbery in front of Kimberly Gardens and was stabbed in the chest. Both men—who chased and wrestled with the suspects as they fled across town in their vehicle and into Mission Viejo—were expected to survive, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The episode unfolded at about 8:05 p.m. on the 24900 block of Muirlands Boulevard, when three men in a 1992 white four-door Buick assaulted a 32-year-old man as he walked by, stealing a wallet with $700 cash out of his back pocket.

The robbery victim called his 33-year-old brother, who rushed to his aid in the fight.

One of the robbery suspects, identified by authorities as Ethan Kenneth Higginbotham, 24, allegedly slashed the victim's hand with a six-inch knife. Higginbotham then allegedly turned and stabbed the blade into the chest of the victim's brother, who had jumped on Higginbotham's back to pull him out of the fight, the sheriff's department reported.

Higginbotham and Daniel Joe Sutton, also 24, hopped in the Buick to take off but were pursued by the brothers, who jumped in the same vehicle behind them, according to the sheriff's department.

As Sutton barreled toward Los Alisos Boulevard, the other men fought in the passenger compartment. At one point, Sutton allegedly bit the man Higginbotham had allegedly stabbed in the chest. At the Muirlands and Los Alisos intersection, the robbery victim was ejected from the car. It's unclear if he was thrown out or bailed of his own accord, the authorities said.

Sutton pulled the car into the parking lot of a church on the 3800 block of Los Alisos where the three men exited, still fighting for control of the knife.

As soon as the robbery victim pulled the knife away from Higginbotham, the duo hopped back in the Buick and took off on Muirlands. Mission Viejo deputies tracked the car down and took the two men into custody on Muirlands, somewhere south of Alicia Parkway.

The robbery victim's brother returned to the scene of the assault and turned over the knife to investigators. He and his brother were both treated at the scene for the stab wounds, then taken to Mission Hospital for additional care. Their injuries are not life-threatening, the sheriff's department said.

Higginbotham and Sutton were arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Deputies searched for the third suspect, who reportedly fled before the other two piled into the car, using the department helicopter and a search dog, but were unable to locate him.

The missing suspect is described as a 25-year-old white or Hispanic male with a shaven head. He is about 5 feet, 5 inches tall.

Sarah de Crescenzo August 17, 2012 at 05:17 PM
@imcjl, @Kelly Gottus: No gang connection, according to OCSD deputies.
Jessica Slifca August 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM
$700 is not fishy in Lake Forest. Even for a mobile home. It could have been a paycheck or rent. Why is it that the victim gets treated as a criminal? These brothers just survived a crazy ordeal. One thing missing from this story: Did he get his money back?
Sarah Bardowell August 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
This did happen on the 15 and most people get paid on the 1st and the 15th. When I worked in a grocery store I would cash my checks on the spot.
Sarah Bardowell August 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
...although I would not jump in a car and fight someone that robbed & stabbed me.
Jessica Slifca August 17, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Getting robbed probably made him feel like less of a man and then having his brother come to his aide only to be stabbed probably got both of their adrenaline rushing. People do crazier things on that than any other drug. If I had just worked 80 hours and someone tried to take my money, I would fight back too. I wouldn't jump in the car, sure, but I'm just a girl.

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