A 44-year-old man sustained life threatening injuries after being stabbed Wednesday night in Turlock.
The critical incident came at a time when the Turlock Police Department’s resources were already stretched thin as they tried to deal with several serious in-progress calls all happening within a short amount of time.
“They did an awesome job handling all the high priority calls,” said Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar. “They made good use of their resources and thought outside of the box to get it all done. Thank God none of the officers got hurt and we were able to protect the community. It all worked out well this time.”
The stabbing first came to the attention of the police department shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday when the victim went to a neighbor’s house seeking help. The neighbor called 911 and officers responded to the 500 block of West Avenue South.
The victim had suffered multiple stab wounds to his torso and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Since then the victim has been “semi uncooperative,” said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.
At this time there is no suspect information and the weapon was not recovered.
The report of the stabbing came as officers were dealing with a call of a family fight that was nearly turning violent. Multiple officers were at a home in the 600 block of Bluefield Avenue after receiving a call that a man was threatening his family and neighbors with a baseball bat.
Officers were able to get the family out of harm’s way and were just beginning to make contact with the suspect when the call of the stabbing came in.
Additionally, another high priority call came in of an altercation with a possible weapon.
The officers were able to take the man with the bat, identified as Armando Barajas, into custody on suspicion of making criminal threats.
“Because of those calls being reported, we were forced to reallocate officers on our call who were important in assisting with the scene and have them respond to those other two,” wrote Turlock Police Sgt. Joey Rodriguez on the department’s activity log posted online. “This was not ideal but had to be done.”
As a result of the ongoing high priority calls, the department had to hold over officers from the swing shift to graveyard shift. The move proved beneficial because another call came in within that time reporting a man was holding a gun on another person. Officers were able to locate the suspect and investigate the matter. It turned out it was a bike lock and not a firearm, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.
“It was a busy night but great job by officers and dispatch, including Cal State University Police who assisted,” wrote Turlock Police Cpl. Raul Garcia on the web activity log.
The juggling of multiple high priority calls is something the Turlock Police Department has had to do more frequently as they have seen an influx of departures over the last year, due in part by a pay discrepancy between Turlock and other law enforcement agencies in the region. The department has been embarking on an ambitious recruiting program, but as new officers are coming in, others are leaving, so the department has made no real gains over the last two years.
The department is offering signing bonuses up to $16,000 for six lateral hires in patrol or dispatch.
The issue of funding for public safety is expected to be a topic of conversation at a special Turlock City Council meeting at 5 p.m. May 4 at City Hall. Originally the meeting was to focus solely on public safety funding but is now going to be a general fund budget workshop.