Visalia stabbing may have been a hate crime

VISALIA, Calif.

Visalia Police say an 18-year-old man was stabbed several times at a party on northeast Third.

Joseph Regalado, 21, and an underage teen boy are both facing hate crime charges.

Neighbors say right outside a car port is where the 18-year-old man was stabbed. A woman who declined to talk with Action News on camera says she saw as many as five people attacking the victim.

Visalia Police say they were notified about the stabbing after the 18-year-old showed up to the emergency room at Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

Lt. Brian Winter said, "He told us that prior to the attack, some of the subjects were making some anti-gay slurs and comments toward him."

Lieutenant Brian Winter says the victim was invited to and had been at the party for a while. Police say Joseph Regalado and an underage teen boy were the main aggressors in the attack. Police tracked down the two suspects after they interviewed people in the apartment building Saturday morning. Police say the victim's friend - an underage teen girl - was also assaulted during the scuffle.

"He's reporting to us that after the comments were made to him, the group of subjects jumped him, if you will," Lt. Brian Winter said. "They began assaulting, kicking, hitting him and at some point during that altercation he was stabbed."

Neighbors say the people hosting the party are gang members - and they have had fights during previous parties.

The stabbing victim is expected to be okay. And police say the two suspects are known to investigators. We're told they both have gang ties.

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