Two 18-year-old Tokay High School students were stabbed across the street from campus shortly after school let out for the day Wednesday, and Lodi police soon detained four suspects.
Juan Cardenas and Pablo Ramos suffered non-life threatening injuries after one was stabbed in the leg and the other was stabbed in the torso, Lodi Police Lt. Bill Barry said. Both were taken to area hospitals by ambulance after the altercation, which investigators believe was gang-related.
Four male suspects were detained, including Joseph Bounds, 20. The other three suspects were juveniles, whom police identified only as a 15-year-old Tokay High student and two Liberty High School students, ages 17 and 14.
About 15 minutes after school ended, police were called at 2:27 p.m. to the high school on Century Boulevard, where two teens had been stabbed, Barry said.
Officers detained one suspect near the school and learned that other suspects had apparently left in a red Cadillac that was missing part of a rear taillight, Barry said. In the meantime, the mother of a suspect arrived and told police she had given a boy a ride to a condo around the corner on Scarborough Drive.
While some officers and volunteer police Partners combed the area near the high school for a weapon, detectives were looking for the Cadillac. A car matching the vehicle's description soon pulled into the Brookside Terrace condominium complex on Scarborough Drive, where residents said they hadn't previously seen the car.
"I saw two guys walk by and they acted like they lived here," said Laura Lopez, who has only lived in the generally quiet complex for less than two months.
Her mother told her the two males didn't seem to belong in the area, and before long they saw Detective Nick Welton arresting the suspects at gunpoint. Police at the scene said Bounds had purchased the Cadillac about two weeks earlier.
Another youth, who had a gang-related tattoo on his arm, was detained south of the complex. Police were still looking for another suspect, Barry said.
The dispute apparently started when a gang member saw one of his friends get into a fight with a rival gang, Detective Eric Bradley said as he searched the red Cadillac, which was later towed.
At the school, students who had stayed for seventh period were surprised to leave campus and see yellow police tape strung between police cars.
Several students said they've seen a few altercations but that the school doesn't generally have a lot of problems. Some automatically asked if the incident was gang-related.
"It is unfortunately mindless violence," Barry said. "Thousands of taxpayer dollars are spent because two people looked at each other."
First published: Thursday, September 28, 2006