Breaking News
More () »

East-side leaders say it's time to act after two young children and mother stabbed

Police have released no motive for the attack.

SAN ANTONIO — Two children and their mom are fighting to recover from an overnight knife attack in their own home.

One child, a five-year-old boy, is said to be in critical condition after surgery.
His four-year-old sister and their mom are hospitalized as well.

Police said the suspect they arrested is the woman's husband and the father of the kids.

Since then, SAPD confirmed the identify of the man as Ray Hernandez. He is facing three counts of Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon. The child is still in the hospital at last check.

Police said he was stabbed as well.

It all happened a little before 3 a.m. Friday at the Olive Park Apartments on Burleson Street just east of downtown in the Dignowity Hill neighborhood.

Beyond a preliminary report stating that arriving officers found the injured people after a neighborhood called in a disturbance, police have said nothing about what may have led to the attack.

But what is clear is the outrage among people who live and work in the neighborhood.

Some said it is time for people to come together for the sake of all the kids who are living in fear.

Beverly Watts Davis is the board president for the Ella Austin Community Center, which is directly across the street from the complex where the attack took place.

“Ella” has been a gathering place and a refuge for generations of east side residents.

Watts Davis said “There is going to be a community response to this because it's way past time.

The irony of defenseless victims being attacked so close to the emotional heart of the neighborhood should serve as a loud, clear call for action, Watts Davis said.

“It says that we don't matter! And we do matter! And this community will show that we are valued and worthy of a response,” she added.

Neighbor Liz Franklin lives a couple of blocks away and has been an outspoken neighborhood volunteer for years.

“This requires, in my opinion, a collective outrage from all of us,” Franklin said, adding that she’s particularly irked by the level of violence area kids are being exposed to.

Franklin said the memory of another attack, a murder suicide that left children orphaned, is still fresh on the minds of many.

Bowden Academy, Franklin said, is home to children who are hurting and it’s up to caring adults to act.  Franklin said it is not fair for an elementary school to be in the epicenter of an area where criminals have free reign.

“They were already worried about possible shooters in school, now it's maybe in their home environment, on the way to school,” Franklin said, adding 

“They're already scared. Who do they trust?”

“It could start with something as simple as attending one of the PTAs and seeing what do they need from us,” Franklin said.

A spokesman for the San Antonio Independent School District said at Bowden Academy they would welcome the help.

While the Dignowity Hill neighborhood has seen transformative re-development, many of the students at the bilingual school still qualify for assistance programs.  

Laura Short, with SAISD, said “The school’s main line is (210) 738-9770 – and you can ask for either the principal or the family & community engagement specialist.”

Student and Academic Support Services can be reached at (210) 554-2580.

Speaking with passion, Watts Davis said solutions need to come from a gathering of like-minded people determined to make a difference.

Watts Davis said she will be looking to form partnerships with all levels of law enforcement in the area as well as non-profits and community service groups.

“We will be that constant, committed group of citizens who are coming together to solve this public safety problem,” Watts Davis said.

One possible way to get involved is an upcoming meeting about future developments at Ella. The center recently received some city bond money for a big upgrade.

They are having an input session so people can talk about the improvements they would like to see. The meeting is Monday, November 7 at 6 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 508 North Center.   

Watts Davis said everyone who wants to focus on solutions is welcome to attend.

Before You Leave, Check This Out