Stabbing reported in Planada

PLANADA -- A 20-year-old man is recovering after being stabbed in a gang-related incident Wednesday, the Merced County Sheriff's Department reported.

The victim told investigators he was driving near Broadway and Sutter Street around 7 p.m. and noticed a group of males standing by a car, throwing gang signs at him, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.

He kept driving, and shortly afterward was flagged down by a friend and pulled over to the curb. After hearing his friend shout a warning, the victim turned and saw three males approach his driver's side door, MacKenzie said.

The suspects began punching the victim through the open car window. The victim kicked at the suspects, put the key in the ignition and drove away. As he fled, the victim felt what he believed was a scratch on his leg and noticed he'd been stabbed. He drove home and was taken to the hospital by his mother.

He was treated for two stab wounds to his left leg and released from the hospital.

Details are few about the suspects. The victim reported one of the males was about 20 years old, with a shaved head, wearing a blue shirt.

Sheriff's investigators are asking anyone with information to call (209) 385-7472. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.