Two gang stabbings occurred Saturday

Police say incidents are unrelated

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 11, 2011 

Two gang-related stabbings occurred in or near Los Banos Saturday, police said.

Authorities do not believe the incidents are connected.

The first incident occurred at about 8:45 p.m. The Los Banos Police Department responded to the Memorial Hospital, Los Banos regarding a stabbing victim in the emergency room. Officer Fiafaimane Leao spoke with a 17-year-old male who reported being attacked by several males. The victim did not provide any further details, police said.

The victim was released to his parents after being treated for his wounds.

Police are investigating this as a gang related incident, but are unsure if it occurred in the city of Los Banos or Gustine, where the victim lives. A second stabbing occurred at 10:32 p.m., on the 2000 block of E. Pacheco Boulevard. Officers spoke with a 29-year-old male who had been stabbed multiple times.

According to police, the victim said he was confronted by several males who began to assault him while shouting gang slurs. During the assault, the victim was stabbed in his arms and upper torso. He was transported to Memorial Hospital, Los Banos where he was treated and released.

While officers were searching for the suspects, a witness who followed the suspects called the police department to report their vehicle was in the area of Mercy Springs and Pioneer roads. Officer Nathan Bowling and Sgt. Jason Hedden spoke with the driver, 23-year-old Manuel Namowicz of Modesto, and a 16-year-old male from San Jose. The juvenile had a knife with blood stains, police said. A loaded sawed-off rifle was also found in the vehicle. Both males were placed under arrest.

Namowicz was taken to the Los Banos Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a short barreled rifle, committing a new felony while out of custody on pending charges, conspiracy to commit a crime and participation in a criminal street gang. Namowicz posted bail and is scheduled to appear at the Merced County Superior Court on June 9.

The juvenile suspect was transported to the Merced County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a short-barreled rifle, conspiracy to commit a crime and participation in a criminal street gang.

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