Police searching for 'dangerous fugitive' accused of stabbing woman; tried to gouge out a man's eyes

Police were searching Wednesday for a Los Angeles man accused of stabbing a woman and attempting to gouge out a man's eyes who fled a courthouse and cut off a monitoring bracelet.

An arrest warrant was issued for Abel Munguia, 19, whom police called a "dangerous fugitive," after his electronic monitoring ankle device was recovered in Carson.

Munguia had been free on bail and was appearing Wednesday in a Long Beach courthouse to answer felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing of a 20 year-old woman.

Authorities said he fled after he was informed he was being charged with a second felony assault with aggravated mayhem for attempting to gouge out the eye of a 50 year-old man. That charge can result in a 15 years to life sentence upon conviction.

"He said he was going to the restroom and never came back," said Los Angeles Police Det. Patty Batts.

Authorities issued a new arrest warrant and increased Munguia's bail to $1.25 million.

Munguia was arrested in December on suspicion of stabbing the woman in the back, according to LAPD detectives. Then on Aug. 3, Munguia was arrested in the gouging case. Batts said that when Munguia realized his bail would be increased to more than $1 million, he decided to flee.

Batts said Munguia may have been in the country without legal status. He was participating in an immigration program for potential deportees, in which his whereabouts were to be monitored electronically instead of holding him in custody. His family had provided the bond money for his release to the program, she said.

When detectives learned that he fled the courthouse, the privately-contracted monitoring company initially refused to provide his whereabouts, Batts said.

Batts said Munguia is considered very dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call (310) 726-7861 or, after business hours, 1-877-LAPD-24-7.