Three suspects in a late afternoon stabbing in a Mission Ridge Drive shopping center parking lot were quickly located by Manteca Police officers after the youths had fled the scene and left a 16-year-old Norteno gang member on the ground with stab and slash wounds.
Police received a 911 call shortly before 6 p.m. with numerous patrol units and an ambulance responding to the area that was in plain sight of motorists traveling south on Main Street.
Witnesses reportedly saw several youths, who police identified as Sureno gang members, chase four Nortenos gang members through traffic from one shopping center parking lot and across Mission Ridge Drive to the north where the stabbing took place.
Witnesses took down the license plate number of the fleeing 1993 brown Camry which was almost immediately aired to other officers in the field.
Patrolmen John Moody and Elliott Eichel were given the registration address from their dispatcher and were waiting for the car to appear in the Southland Mobile Home Park on the East Highway 99 Frontage Road as they expected the trio to return home to that location.
When the suspect vehicle rounded a corner in the park near their mobile home, the two officers pulled their cruisers in front and behind the Toyota blocking it from fleeing again. They ordered the occupants out of the car at gunpoint and placed them all in handcuffs before stunned family members.
Officers interviewed the detained youths on the mobile home park street being told by the trio that they weren’t gang members. Neighbors were drawn out of their units to watch the scene unfold from their driveways. Police then searched their car for evidence. All of the youths were under 18 except for one from the Sureno group who was identified as being 18.
Not knowing who was initially at fault, the first officers to arrive on the scene of the assault took control of the area and detained the teens they found near the wounded victim lying on the asphalt. They quickly determined that the group had actually been the victims who had been chased on foot through the commercial areas of South Main Street by rival gang members.
The 16-year-old victim had one stab wound and one slashing wound, according to Sgt. Chris Mraz, who added the condition of the victim didn’t appear to be life threatening. The teen was transported to San Joaquin County Hospital by Manteca Ambulance.
The young suspects were all given citations to appear in Juvenile Co-Op on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy, according to police.