Stabbing in Modesto park leaves 18-year-old dead

bclark@modbee.comJanuary 29, 2013 

    alternate textBrian Clark
    Title: Senior Editor, Digital
    Coverage areas: Breaking news
    Bio: A Berkeley native, Brian graduated from San Diego State University in 1986. His newspaper stops included 18-month stints at the Turlock Journal and The Las Vegas Review-Journal before accepting a job in Modesto in 1990. While at The Bee, he's worked as a sports and news copy editor, sports editor and weekend news editor before joining the online team in 2008.
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— UPDATE (10:30 a.m.): Police have one man in custody and have detained two teenagers in the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old in a Modesto park Tuesday night during what they are calling an attempted robbery.

Police said this morning that neighbors to the park described several suspects. Officers were able to track down one of the suspects. Though the man, whose name was not released, initially cooperated with police, he then ran away. Police apprehended him near the Johansen High School stadium.

A teenager was stabbed to death in a southeast Modesto park on Tuesday night, authorities said.

One suspect was taken into custody, and officers believe there may be at least one, if not two, other suspects, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen of the Modesto Police Department.

At 8:30 p.m., officers were called to the area of Creekwood Park a few blocks northwest of Johansen High School on a report of a male stabbing victim.

As officers were coming to the scene entering onto Creekwood Drive from Claus Road, they saw a male fitting the description of a suspect running east. After a short pursuit, he was taken into custody near the football field at Johansen.

A few blocks away, emergency crews performed CPR on the 18-year-old victim as he was being put into an ambulance at the park's north end.

He was pronounced dead shortly after, Findlen said.

The male tracked down at Johansen was arrested on suspicion of resisting and delaying arrest. Findlen said detectives are trying to determine what involvement he had in the homicide.

Police crime tape was put up along Ardia Avenue and around the bordering park.

"It may have started on one side of the park and, not knowing where the stabbing actually took place, we do believe that the victim was in the park for a period of time before he collapsed here on the north side," Findlen said. "So we're very concerned about evidence here in the park."

Detectives were on scene past midnight.

Ninon Lapandalman, a resident who lives near the park, said she didn't hear anything until police arrived.

"I came out and could see a police car coming around the park," she said. "All of a sudden, I saw police officers running. The ambulance came and they had a person down on the ground."

The name of the victim was not released pending notification of family. There was no immediate information about the suspect in custody.

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