The fourth and final suspect in the stabbing of a Dallas teen is now in police custody after he surrendered to police Wednesday in the company of his parents.
The family of 15-year-old Emanuel Sendejas said the four boys stabbed him 20 times at West Haven Park. By the time police talked with Sendejas, he was slipping in and out of consciousness, but he was able to name the four he said attacked him.
Police said Sendejas and a group were headed home from summer school when the attack happened in the woods on Tuesday.
The family said the teens used a screwdriver and rock to beat the teen. Police said they are all students at T.W. Browne Middle School.
The family of Sendejas has some sense of relief now that all four accused attackers are now in police custody.
“I thank the parents for that, coming forth with their child,” said Lori Alfaro, the boy's mother. “I don’t have hatred towards them. I just think it’s a little bit too fast to forgive it’s going to take time, because I’m still wrapping my head around the whole ordeal as to why this happened.”
The family told NBC 5 that their son sought help after the attack. He crawled out of the woods and knocked on neighbors' doors.
On Wednesday, the family spoke with the man who drove the teen to his house.
“My son don’t remember how he woke up, my son don’t remember how he jumped the fence, he don’t even really remember calling me, he just remembered he knew he had to call me,” explained Alfaro. “And that man that helped my son is a guardian angel in my book.”
The family shared Manuel’s first words at the hospital: "'Mom, I’m sorry. You always tell me to go straight to the bus. I didn't.'"
Alfaro said she reassured her son that the attack was not his fault. “I said, 'Baby, you don’t deserve none of this, it’s just bad stuff happens, and you were at wrong place at wrong time.'”
Maria Aguirre, whose family lives near the park, said her children play there often but that she won’t let them go alone. “It’s getting kind of dangerous,” she said.
Other neighbors said they watch for unusual activity and often call police, but they never suspected such a violent attack would happen where children play.
“It was scary,” said Monica Cardona. “You don’t think anything like that is going to happen in front of your house so, I mean, I was pretty scared for my niece and my nephew. They’re 5 and 6 years old. It’s crazy.”
Sendejas is still hospitalized at Methodist Medical Center Dallas, but his father told NBC 5 he is now in stable condition.
The four teens, ages 13 to 15, all face aggravated assault charges.
Debbie Denmon, a spokeswoman with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, told NBC 5 that the case is still being reviewed. It’s unclear how these teens will be treated within the justice system.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.