Witness speaks out about college student stabbing

The vicious attack on alleged victim 21-year-old Derek Madrigal, a college student from Dallas, was caught on video during Spring Break on South Padre Island.

Madrigal TMs family said Derek was brutally attacked after defending a girl who was assaulted by a man.

Action 4 News spoke to the girl, who will only be identified as Gaby, due to safety concerns.

Gaby is also a college student from Dallas that was on Spring Break on the Island.

The girl tells Action 4 News that she, Madrigal and other Spring Breakers were having fun on the beach, until a group of about eight men approached their tent to stir up trouble.

"I guess one of (the men) got angry and tried to punch (Derek) but he hit me instead, Gaby said. (Derek) took me, threw me on the ground (to get me out of the way) and the next thing I knew, (his) feet were over my head falling into the middle of the crowd.

Gaby said the attack was so brutal that it was nearly impossible for people to jump in to help Madrigal.

"Somebody was trying to help him, to pull him out and then the next thing you know, the guys come after him again and took him to another tent, Gaby said.

Gaby said Madrigal TMs alleged attackers did not seem like the typical Spring Breaker.

She claims they were more like an organized criminal group, even walking in formation.

She also said there wasn't enough police presence to divert this violent act.

"There wasn't even legitimate policemen anywhere - even at the entrance - it was all security, Gaby said. I TMm going to be afraid of a (police officer) not just security " what TMs a security guard going to do?"

South Padre Island police have charged 33-year-old Michael Rangel with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the attack.

Madrigal TMs parents are cooperating with detectives trying to upgrade those charges to attempted murder.

Gaby said Spring Break was fun up to the point of the stabbing, and she adds she and her friends won't be back anytime soon.

I feel so unsafe I will never go back to South Padre Island again, Gaby said. I love it, but it's unsafe. After that happened to my friend, it can happen to anybody."