Joseph Samuel Chavez knew that the authorities were looking for him.
So on Wednesday, the Manteca man that was being sought by investigators for reportedly stabbing a woman at Caswell Memorial State Park in Ripon over the weekend walked up to a woman at a Manteca McDonald’s location and told her to “Google” his name.
After realizing that he was wanted for attempted murder, the woman contacted Manteca Police Tuesday evenings. Responding officers took the wanted fugitive into custody without incident.
Chavez, 35, was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges of attempted murder, false imprisonment, burglary, criminal threats, and assault to commit a sexual act. He is currently being held on $1 million bond and is due to appear in Department I of the Manteca brand of the San Joaquin Superior Court today at 1:25 p.m. in order to be arraigned.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office began sharing Chavez’ picture over the weekend after a Saturday altercation at the rural Ripon park where he allegedly entered the recreational vehicle of a woman and, after a struggle, stabbed her several times.
The victim – who was transported to an area hospital by Chavez and dropped off – was initially listed in critical condition at the time the news of the incident was shared with the public, but her condition was later upgraded to stable in subsequent news releases.
The relationship between Chavez and the victim was not made public by investigators, and the nature of the visit that he allegedly made to her trailer was also not released when news of the crime first broke.
It was believed that through his contacts in the San Francisco Bay Area that he may have fled to San Jose, and authorities who issued a bulletin about the alleged crime warned the public that he was likely “armed and dangerous” and urged anybody who had information about his whereabouts or who saw him on the street to call 911 immediately.
The nature of the crime and the location in which it occurred – the idyllic, serene old growth oak grove along the Stanislaus River is popular with families and camping enthusiasts looking for a quick, local weekend getaway – shocked people on social media, and the initial report of the crime was quickly spread around local community groups.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.