2011 began in Orange County with Robert Sickles, 27, of Mission Viejo, being stabbed to death outside a New Year's Eve party in a Costa Mesa hotel.
2012 almost began the same way, with a different victim, of course, but in the same city, only 4 1/2 miles from the New Year's Eve 2011 attack.
A 44-year-old Westminster man was celebrating New Year's Eve at Goat Hill Tavern, the famous Newport Boulevard watering hole, when, around 2 a.m. Sunday, he got into a verbal argument with another man in the parking lot, according to Costa Mesa Police.
The other man called someone on his cell phone, and a few minutes later Stephen John Frea, 27, of Fresno, arrived, got out of a car and stabbed the Westminster man five times, police say.
The stabbing victim was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana with non-life-threatening stab wounds to his torso and legs.
Frea was popped on suspicion of assault with deadly weapon and carrying a controlled substance: methamphetamine.