Bryan Garcia-Munguia was arrested at about 11:40 p.m. at a Denny's near his mother's apartment. He had shown up unexpectedly at the restaurant where other relatives had just finished eating.
Family members held him until police arrived.
Bryan Garcia-Munguia kept saying that he didn't do anything to his mother while officers put him in handcuffs. Police said they have sufficient evidence that Bryan Garcia-Munguia was responsible for his mother's murder.
It was an emotional scene for family members who learned of Saida Munguia's murder earlier in the day.
Police said Bryan Garcia-Munguia had been fighting with his mother earlier in the week, and when a brother went to check on her at about 3 p.m. Monday, he found blood on the door to the apartment.
Police discovered her body in a locked bedroom, stabbed several times.
Neighbors said Bryan Garcia-Munguia was often heard yelling at his mother.
"He called her all kinds of names," said neighbor Juana Morales.
"He had mental problems I think, and he had problems with drugs too," she said.
Principal Christine Clark at Kennedy High School said Saida Munguia was a devoted teacher.
"She wanted to be the perfect teacher, and worked very hard for that end. The kids knew it, the kids knew she truly cared about them as people," she said.
Saida Munguia was a first year ESL teacher and a home room teacher. Some students said she was strict, but said it was for their own good.
"She was really tough with grading," said student Jessica Bernal.
"She was a really good teacher. She was always there for us," she said.
Grief counselors were on hand at Kennedy High School.
Bryan Garcia-Munguia is being held on $1 million bail.