Pleasanton police worked with Livermore police to determine Serpa was staying with his sister and he was arrested in the neighborhood where his sister lives.
"It was just a tip that we got. We acted on the tip and it turned out to be reliable," said Pleasanton police Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber.
Serpa was booked into Santa Rita Jail on one count of attempted murder. Bail has not been set.
He was identified as the suspect by the victim, who was stabbed once in the chest during an altercation at the apartment complex.
Initial reports said the two men began arguing with each other and started fighting; during the course of the fight the suspect produced a knife and stabbed the victim one time and then fled on foot. Police arrived on the scene at about 9 p.m. after receiving several 911 calls about a stabbing at the complex.
Schlehuber said both the suspect and victim have differing accounts of what caused the conflict.
"There was a fight and they both have their own interpretation of what led to the fight and they both believe they were in the right," he said.
The victim, a 30-year-old Livermore resident, was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley for treatment of his injury, which was not life threatening.
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