Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tragic Fatal Stabbing at the Underground DTSA Club in Santa Ana, California

23 year old Nathan Joe Alfaro of Westminster, California who worked part time as a cashier at Golden West College went with friends to see another friend's band play on Thursday, March 3rd at a club called Underground DTSA in Santa Ana as part of "Top Acid Thursdays". The band was Ghali and soon after their set started one guy starting getting rowdy wanting to mosh but it was a mosh party of one, Juan Angel Rivera 21. Soon he was elbowing people and even trying to push and pull people to mosh.

As reported on NBC (online) by Angie Crouch and Corey Arvin:

"He just pushed people and was throwing elbows and kinf of grabbing people trying to force them into a pit... people didnt want to pit (mosh)", a friend of Alfaro said. Witnesses said an altercation broke out between several men who were upset with Rivera.

"Just all out violent kind of dude" said Laena Geronimo of Feels (the headline band), "And one dude tried to wrangle him so he wasn't elbowing people in the face. They collapsed on stage, just this mass of people."

Alfaro's friend said when the melee was broken up there was blond on the ground and they realized that he had been stabbed several times. Alfaro stumbled outside to the sidewalk and collapsed.

"I ran out to get security and that's when I found my friend Nathan laying on the ground," his friends said. "He was just in shock and didn't know what was going on."

Alfaro was rushed to UCI Medical Center in Orange but died of his injuries.

A day later suspect Juan Angel Rivera was arrested.

The band Nathan Alfaro went to see, Ghali posted this on their Facebook Page:

The band Feels who was the headliner along with the 4 other bands posted a message to fans on their Facebook Page:

We are completely devastated, so totally at a loss for words but feeling the need to say some things in honor of the spirit of the kid who apparently got stabbed to death at the show last night... Punk isn't about hurting other people. Fuck that shit.
Thank you to Nathan who gave up his life last night to try to keep the one totally psycho violent moshing guy in check. The psycho dude had crazy eyes and was slamming into everyone in the room, even on the edges, almost knocked over the entire DJ set up... but who could've known he had a knife. We watched as the fight broke out, crashing onto the stage knocking mics over while the second band played, saw fists flying and more and more people dog piling on to try to break it up but still had no idea... then there was blood on the floor, cops and paramedics, the whole show was shut down of course, but still when we left we were under the impression that he was stabbed in the shoulder and was going to be fine.
Waking up this morning and finding out that he died in the hospital... There are no words. We are sending all of our love to the spirit of Nathan, his friends and family. We seriously hope that the murderer is captured and prosecuted to the fullest.
Let's all take something forward from this... If your'e at a show and you clock someone sketchy who's just out to hurt other people- just driven by violence and not music- head straight for the bouncer. Don't get us wrong, we love mosh pits. Slamming into other people can be the most fun liberating thing in the world, and yeah sometimes people get hurt- but it should NEVER be intentional. If someone falls you pick them up- there's an unspoken camaraderie in the pit. Fuck anyone who acts otherwise. Fuck this insane violence. We are sick with the understanding that this happened before our eyes.
As someone who cares about the Indie music scene I want to send my condolences to Nathan Joe Alfaro's friends and loved ones. When things like this happen you always want to cast some percentage of blame on the venue, on the lack of security or anything that seems to make sense. In truth, the DIY scene has always relied on a sense of community that takes care of their own. Often times the concerts are at warehouses or rented halls without any security at all. Countless shows take place with no negative incidences at all except for normal youthful rights of passage like mosh pit bruises and friends taking you home because you've had too much to drink.
The indie scene is, for the most part, a supportive healthy place to be. This incident, this one in particular had little to do with the scene at all but more to do with a troubled young troublemaker probably under the influence who was looking to cause mayhem and succeeded. It is also a tragic story of another young man who was attempting to help other people, who was attempting to deescalate a violent situation, a guy who was stepping up to protect others. 
As of the publication of this post I am disheartened that Underground DTSA where this incident took place and Top Acid who was putting on the show has made no statements about this tragedy. That is just plain wrong. Maybe it is the lawyers of the world who are to blame for this but just the same a simple caring statement about Nathan Alfaro would of been nice. 
There has been one report stating that Alfaro was licensed by the state as a security guard and maybe this fact made him the likely one to act. There are other reports that the suspect Juan Angel Rivera may of left the venue after scuffling with others and he may of returned seeking retribution. One wonders if trained bouncers intervening would of made a difference or if checking patrons before entering the venue should be a constant at shows like this. One wonders if the band could of done something to control the crowd. I have seen bands do this before. When things get out of hand, the band stops playing and says something to change the tone of the crowd or those in the crowd. There are too many "what ifs" and in the end no one was too blame except the perpetrator, the killer himself but in those "what ifs" there might be lessons to gleam that might prevent a future tragedy. Be safe out there good people.
Robb Donker

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