SAN JOSE CA Feb 27 2017 — The Little League and East Side communities are mourning the death of a longtime volunteer, coach and mentor to thousands of San Jose youth, who was killed early Sunday in a confrontation as he worked as a security manager at a San Jose nightclub.
Frank Navarro, 35, was reportedly stabbed in an altercation involving a would-be patron who had been turned away after presenting a fake ID at the entry to Tres Gringos Cabo Cantina on South Second Street, according to a co-worker and family members. Navarro was rushed to a local hospital, where he died of his wounds.
According to a law enforcement source police stopped a vehicle seen fleeing the scene about seven miles west near Saratoga Avenue and Kiely Boulevard, and two people inside were detained in association with the deadly stabbing. Their involvement, if any, was not immediately clear Sunday morning.
San Jose police have not confirmed the coworker’s and family’s account, identified the victim nor described any suspects.
Navarro was president of Eastridge Little League, after years spent playing, coaching and volunteering. Hundreds of family members, friends and others gathered to mourn Navarro at a vigil Sunday night, filling the infield of an Eastridge ballfield on Cunningham Avenue.
“Little League was his life,” said his girlfriend, Vera Covarrubias.
Rose Herrera, a former city vice mayor who knew Navarro through his work with kids’ baseball and his coaching at Overfelt High, called the tragedy “a big loss for his family and for the community.”
“He connected with the kids; he was a great coach,” Herrera said. “He knew how to instill that enthusiasm and belief in themselves.”
Navarro grew up in East San Jose. At Overfelt, he was on the wrestling and football teams, playing a defensive lineman on a team that won the Central Coast Section championship.
He attended De Anza College, and worked in China teaching English. He also worked several years as a preschool classroom aide at Grant Elementary in San Jose Unified, and returned to Overfelt to coach varsity football and baseball.
“He was great with the kids,” Overfelt Principal Vito Chiala said. “He saw (athletics) as way to keep them engaged as they made their way through school.”
More recently, Navarro worked for a security contractor and also for at least 10 years in security for a company that owned downtown San Jose clubs, including VooDoo Lounge, San Jose Bar and Grill and Tres Gringos, Covarrubias said.
Navarro was stepping in for a besieged employee Saturday night, when the club denied entry to a tattooed customer who allegedly presented someone else’s ID, according to family members. The disgruntled man, accompanied by others, later returned and an altercation broke out. Navarro, as security manager was summoned, and was fatally stabbed. Police were summoned shortly after midnight.
“He loved everybody,” his step-father, Robert Delgado said. “He never liked drama.”
Besides Delgado, Navarro is survived by his mother Regina Delgado, his brother Michael Delgado, and his father Larry Navarro, all of San Jose; his brothers, Michael Joseph Delgado of Sacramento and Larry Navarro Jr. of Los Angeles; and his grandparents, Rosie Delgado and Lorenzo and Mary Navarro.