COAST CITIES — The Rubio’s manager stabbed by a man later shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy was released from the hospital May 19, five days after the attack.
Insurance will cover medical costs sustained by Robin Rodriguez, but many of his customers collaborated to create a GoFundMe page to help with what doctors told the family would be a rough road ahead, physically and mentally.
“He is just an amazing person,” said Kim Konani, who started the fundraising page. “He really makes you feel like family. He’s especially great with kids. I’m kind of picky when it comes to food and he never rolls his eyes at me. He’s always happy to make whatever I want, however I want it.”
Konani, who owns Healthy Life Natural Wellness in the Eden Gardens area of Solana Beach, said she and other community members wanted to do something to help.
Seventy-five people donated more than $3,000, the initial goal, in less than 24 hours. The amount was increased to $5,000 after Rodriguez was sent home from the hospital.
According to reports from witnesses and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, 34-year-old transient Emmanuel Ibarra entered the restaurant in the Beach Walk Shopping Center at 437 S. Coast Hwy. 101 looking for free food.
He was asked to leave but returned a short time later, just before 4 p.m., and stabbed Rodriguez several times in the head, then fled the scene.
Not long after, deputies saw a man matching the description from witnesses about four blocks south of Rubio’s, in the 3200 block of Camino del Mar in Del Mar, near the train tracks under the Via del la Valle overpass.
Ibarra came from behind a concrete bridge support with the knife in his hand and quickly moved toward the deputy closest to him.
That deputy began backing away but lost his footing and fell to the ground. A second deputy, Noah Zarnow, yelled at Ibarra, who then charged him while still armed with the knife.
Zarnow, a five-year veteran with the department, fired his handgun and struck Ibarra, who was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
While examining the scene, homicide detectives located the knife near where Ibarra was shot. The tip of the knife appeared to have been broken off.
At the hospital, doctors removed what appeared to be the tip of the knife from Rodriguez’s head.
Rodriguez, 49, has managed the Solana Beach Rubio’s for about three years. He and his wife, Maribel, live in the Del Mar Heights area and have six children, the youngest of whom is 10.
Konani said Maribel Rodriguez has temporarily stopped working to be with her husband. She and her family are “so grateful for the community support and are amazed by their generosity,” Konani said.
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/72a55-robin-rodriguez-fan-club to donate.