Man stabbed near Modesto hospital after confronting suspect driving his stolen truck

Andrew Kuhn/Merced Sun-Star

A man suffered several stab wounds Thursday night after he confronted a suspect driving his truck stolen from a Kaiser Permanente Medical Center parking lot in north Modesto, police officials said.

Officers arrested Ryan Utterback, 31, of Arnold on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and vehicle theft, said Modesto police Sgt. Kalani Souza. He said the victim was treated after suffering nonlife-threatening injuries in the fight with the suspect.

The stabbing was reported about 8:42 p.m., and Souza said there was no indication in the police report the victim or anyone with him had called police to report the vehicle theft before the stabbing. He said the fight between the two men occurred not long after the victim found his truck was missing and spotted the suspect driving the stolen vehicle.

Souza said the victim and his family arrived about 7 p.m. at the hospital on Dale Road, between Bangs and Kiernan avenues, to visit a relative. When he walked out of the hospital, his truck was gone.

The victim spotted Utterback driving the stolen pickup in the hospital parking lot and followed the vehicle until Utterback stopped shortly after, according to Souza. The victim then confronted Utterback.

Souza said Utterback brandished what appeared to be a knife during the fight. After the fight, Utterback left without the stolen vehicle. Souza said the victim did not know he had been stabbed until after he saw Utterback leave with a knife in his hand.

Officers responding to the report of the stabbing found Utterback about 15 minutes after the fight. Souza said Utterback was found hiding in some bushes in an apartment complex south of the hospital.

On Friday morning, Utterback was being held at the Stanislaus County Jail. His first appearance in court had not been scheduled.

Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.