I was in Isabela and Rincon in late December / early January and the news about the stabbing of the tourist from Ohio shocked everyone there. PR has been experiencing a major rise in homicides over the past few years, but this has rarely affected the surfing areas on the west coast. Even though this particular case sounds like a freak b&e-related incident, it seems to be raising fears that the scourge is spreading to all parts of the island. Here is one story about the stabbing (the assailant has since been arrested): http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/...rest-in/ncbLG/.
By the way, the rise in homicides is partly a result of the increased policing of the Mexican border, which has shifted a lot of the cartel business to Puerto Rico. The current situation is reminiscent of 1980s Miami, with public revenge killings often carried out in broad daylight. Unfortunately, no one in Washington seems interested in stabilizing the PR economy and protecting its borders. As usual, the people of PR get shafted and they are the ones bearing the brunt of the problems.
All this aside, the island's beauty and culture are remarkable and I would go back for another 2-week stint in a heartbeat. Despite the crime statistics, I never felt unsafe. The people are among the most welcoming and kind I've encountered anywhere in the world.