Superior Court sign
Superior Court sign. File photo

A man suspected of trying to kill three strangers — including a 72-year-old blind man — in an unprovoked stabbing rampage in Mission Valley pleaded not guilty Friday to attempted murder charges.

James Anthony Thomas, 35, allegedly attacked the sightless septuagenarian from behind as the victim was walking with his cane in the 2000 block of Camino Del Este shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Seeing the assault taking place, two bystanders — a woman, 57, and her 60-year-old husband — intervened and also came under attack, SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki said.

After allegedly stabbing each of the two men and the woman repeatedly, the suspect fled.

According to Deputy District Attorney Kelsey Hollander, the attempted murder counts filed against Thomas include allegations that he used a screwdriver to attack all three victims.

Paramedics took the victims to a trauma center for treatment of extensive injuries, including a punctured lung suffered by the woman and a skull fracture and brain bleed sustained by the older man.

“Initially, the victims’ injuries were so serious the SDPD Homicide Unit responded to the scene,” Sharki said. “After receiving emergency medical treatment, all three victims are expected to survive.”

Aided by a sheriff’s helicopter crew scanning the area from above, police found the suspect on a bicycle path near the scene of the assaults and took him into custody.

Thomas is in custody without bail on the attempted murder case. He also has a pending resisting arrest case, according to prosecutors.

City News Service contributed to this article.