A man accused of stabbing three people with box cutters in San Mateo has been kicked out of his mental health diversion program for violations and will now face criminal charges, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office said.

Alejandro Alfredo Canche, 20, of East Palo Alto, allegedly used a box cutter-style knife to stab a victim in the neck outside BJ’s Restaurant and stabbed a second person 23 times in the face and neck, and then stabbed a third person in the throat on Vista Del Mar, prosecutors said. The incidents occurred Oct. 28, 2019, with the motive for the attacks unknown.

Prosecutors said he had contact with two of his victims multiple times in the last few weeks. The DA’s Office said that Judge Lisa Novak held a hearing Thursday and revoked his mental health diversion program participation, allowing criminal proceedings to start. Under state law, people can be selected for the two-year program and have charges dismissed as long as they follow program rules and complete the program. However, Canche failed to do that. The original decision to place Canche in a mental health diversion program went against the prosecutor’s wishes because of the violence of the crimes. The DA’s Office said he is still out of custody based on the judge’s decision.

He now faces three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He is also charged with brandishing a knife and resisting arrest. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, prosecutors said. His pre-trial conference is set for March 22.

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