The suspect in the killing of seven farmworkers in Half Moon Bay, Calif., was in 2013 accused by a roommate of trying to suffocate him with a pillow and threatening to split his head open using a kitchen knife, court documents show.
Zhao Chunli, 66, who was arrested on Monday in connection with the killings, was the subject of a temporary restraining order filed by the roommate when they were living in San Jose, Calif., in March 2013, the court records show.
The roommate, Yingjiu Wang, had also worked at the same restaurant as Mr. Zhao. Mr. Wang told a judge that Mr. Zhao had quit his job, and two days later, came into his room in the early morning, demanding his salary. Mr. Wang said he told his roommate that he did not have his paycheck, and that he should pick it up at the store. Mr. Zhao, he said, responded: “Today I am going to kill you.”
Mr. Wang said that Mr. Zhao covered his face with a pillow, but that, while struggling to breathe, he had managed to push Mr. Zhao away and leave the room.
Two days after the attack, Mr. Wang said, Mr. Zhao confronted him in the kitchen, telling him that if he did not get his job back, he would use a knife to cut his head. “He said bad things could happen to me,” Mr. Wang said in the court documents.
The judge granted Mr. Wang a temporary restraining order against Mr. Zhao.
Efforts to reach the lawyer who represented Mr. Zhao at the time were not immediately successful. It was unclear if he had a lawyer after being arrested in Half Moon Bay.