Merced police are hoping footage from a surveillance video will help them track down the persons who stabbed a man March 30 in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant at 1821 Motel Drive.
Detectives are asking people who might recognize the individuals responsible for the late-night stabbing either in still photos or the surveillance video to contact them. The 22-year-old man, not identified, is still being treated for life-altering injuries and will be there for some time, Detective Chris Russell of the Merced Police Department said.
While the victim is not a criminal street gang member, it's believed his assailants are. The victim and the three people suspected were staring at each other inside the restaurant, a practice known as "mad-dogging."
Russell said words were exchanged before the 9:58 p.m. stabbing. The victim was stabbed multiple times in the upper torso and airlifted to a Fresno trauma center.
A heavyset Latino male in his late 30s or early 40s, with tattoos on his upper arms, is suspected. He is 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds.
The second suspect is in his mid to late 20s, light-skinned with a thin mustache and shaved head. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds.
They were accompanied by a woman in her mid 20s with a small female child. She has brown hair and is about 5 feet 6 inches tall, Russell said. It's believed they left the McDonald's in a dark-colored larger 1970s model auto resembling a Chevrolet Monte Carlo with low-profile whitewall tires and spoked rims, heading northbound on Carol Avenue.
A Merced County Sheriff's Department deputy was on the other side of the restaurant at the drive-through window and came to the aid of the victim after he was stabbed.
"We realize the photos are grainy," Russell said, "but someone knows who they are. Gang slurs were said by the suspect and words were exchanged."
The victims waited for several minutes before leaving the restaurant, thinking their taunters were gone. Instead the suspects laid in wait and ambushed them near their vehicle, according to police reports.
Sgt. Scott Skinner, supervisor of the department's Major Crimes Division, said those with information about the stabbing can call the department's tip line at (209) 385-4725 or Russell at (209) 385-4707. Callers can remain anonymous.
To see the surveillance video with the suspects pictured, go to the Sun-Star's Web site, www.mercedsun-star.com.
Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.