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Suspect in Hilmar stabbing arrested

POSTED August 11, 2009 11:06 p.m.
The Merced County Sheriff’s department has made an arrest in a brutal attack that left a Hilmar man hospitalized with seven stab wounds.
Joseph John, 20, of Hilmar was arrested Monday morning and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and committing a felony while out on bail. John was out on bail for a previous charge of assault with a deadly weapon, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. He was booked into Merced County Jail and remains in custody in lieu of an $80,000 bail.
John is suspected of stabbing a 24-year-old Hilmar man seven times on the night of Aug. 2.
The victim left his home on that evening to attend a barbecue. Just before midnight the victim telephoned his mother and said he had been stabbed and uttered the word “hospital” before hanging up, MacKenzie said.
The mother, thinking he was on his way to the hospital, picked up her daughter at a different residence and started for Emanuel Medical Center, when she received a second call from his phone. This time there was another man on the phone saying he was at her house with her son who needed to go to the hospital, MacKenzie said.
When they got to the residence in the 19000 block of American Avenue in Hilmar, they found the victim and an unknown man, who promptly left the scene, MacKenzie said.
The victim was air-lifted to a Modesto hospital. He suffered stab wounds to the neck, back and chest, including a punctured lung, kidney and small intestine, according to the sheriff’s department.
Investigators still do not know what the fight was about, but did determine that it happened at a residence in the 20000 block of Bloss Avenue in Hilmar. John was taken into custody at the residence without incident.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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