Grounded: Suspected serial stabber arrested trying to board a plane and flee the country

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ATLANTA, GA (WOIO) - Police say a person of interest has been arrested in connection with 20 stabbing's in three states, including Ohio. Out of the 20 men, five died and 15 survived having severe injuries.

The victims were in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio.

Elias Abuelazam, 33, was captured Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Georgia.

He was trying to board a plane for Israel.

Abuelazam's most recent attack happened Saturday outside a church in Toledo.

The victim, Anthony Leno, survived.

"Tony, being the type he is, walked to the car to give them directions. At that point, he was stabbed," said church member, Jack Linberg.

Earlier that week, police say, the attacker struck three different times in Northern Virginia including a 15-year-old boy, knifed near a gas station, a 67-year-old man attacked with a knife while sitting on the steps of an apartment building and a man hit in the head with a hammer.

All three are minorities in fact the people whom Racist Serial Stabber attacked were mostly black men. Only two of the attacked victims were white.

"We became convinced early Saturday and into Sunday that we were dealing with a race-based crime," said Leesburg Police Chief, Joseph Price.

Abuelazam started his crime spree back in May in Flint, Michigan. Since then, authorities have received more than 500 tips and one of those lead to the recent arrest.

While police are calling it a key step in the investigation, they stress much more work needs to be done before the case is closed.

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