A man accused of attacking his roommate at their East County apartment, prompting her to stab him in self-defense, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and battery charges.

Blaine Anthony Arellano, 20, was ordered held on $50,000 bail. He faces four years in prison if convicted.

La Mesa Police car. Photo by Chris Stone

Shortly before 5:30 a.m. Monday, police got two reports within a few minutes of each other, of a domestic dispute in the 3800 block of Murray Hill Drive in La Mesa, and a man with knife wounds showing up at Grossmont Hospital.

Officers determined that the two incidents were related, La Mesa police Lt. Matt Nicholass said.

A woman at the apartment told police a roommate she had dated until recently, later identified as Arellano, had hit and bit her during a quarrel. When he allegedly started to choke her, she grabbed a knife and stabbed him to end the assault, Nicholass said.

The 26-year-old woman was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. Arellano was treated for two wounds to his right arm before being booked into San Diego Central Jail.

He will be back in court April 2 for a readiness conference and April 9 for a preliminary hearing.

– City News Service