A Planada man acquitted of rape charges this year is back in jail, accused of committing a stabbing.
Daniel Saldana, 23, was taken into custody by Merced County Sheriff's deputies Tuesday, after a foot pursuit in Planada, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Detective Johnny Mathis learned Saldana was staying at his girlfriend's house in the 9000 block of Broadway, MacKenzie said.
When deputies with the Merced Sheriff's STAR Team arrived at the residence, Saldana fled on foot through the back of the house. Two deputies chased Saldana for about two blocks. He was finally Tasered by one of the deputies and arrested, Mackenzie said.
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Saldana was wanted for allegedly stabbing a man Saturday night in Planada. The victim, who's in his 40s, suffered cuts to his upper chest and forearms and is expected to survive. The motive for the stabbing is unclear.
Saldana was also a suspect in a stolen vehicle pursuit reported Friday by the California Highway Patrol. At the end of the pursuit, Saldana collided with a home and a parked car on Cabrillo Street and Stanford Avenue. He escaped on foot.
He was wanted by State Parole for a parole violation, MacKenzie said.
While Saldana was being taken into custody, deputies found a methamphetamine smoking pipe, containing meth, clenched between his buttocks inside his pants.
A validated gang member, Saldana was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest, violation of parole and possession of methamphetamine. He's being held without bail.
A Merced County jury found Saldana not guilty of rape charges in May.
He was accused of taking an 18-year-old woman to an abandoned house on Haskell Avenue in Planada and sexually assaulting her.
After the DNA in semen found on the victim's shorts was entered into a state database, the DNA came back a positive match for Saldana.
During the trial, however, Saldana's attorney, John Garcia, argued that the shorts, which were stained with Saldana's semen, may have already been in the house before the rape. He said someone other than Saldana took the victim into the house and sexually assaulted her. After the rape, the victim might have picked up the shorts from the floor and wore them home, Garcia argued.
Saldana has previously been convicted of domestic violence, false imprisonment, auto theft and evading a police officer.
He was facing life in prison.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.