Teen stabbed in the face near 2 Avenal schools

February 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A lot of students who attend Avenal's continuation school take a 30-minute bus ride along Interstate 5, all the way from Kettleman City.

Police arrested three of those teens this morning and say one of them was carrying something he shouldn't have had on the bus.

Tucked in the bushes outside a school district office, Avenal police and Kings County Sheriff's deputies found the most important evidence in a teen stabbing investigation.

The l knife was hidden just a few yards from the Sunrise continuation school where police say three suspects in the stabbing were also hiding -- in plain sight.

"We were able to recover what we believe is the weapon and we were able to put that weapon at least in someone's hand for the assault," said Avenal police chief Jack Amoroso. "We found it on the campus. You know, they went to school."

Chief Amoroso says the violence started closer to Avenal High School where a bus dropped off students from Kettleman City.

A home study student drove by and got into a verbal battle with rival gang members just off the bus.

"He shouldn't have been there and obviously bad judgment to confront an individual that's joined by three others and this one cost him obviously," Chief Amoroso said.

Neighbors say as many as seven teens hanged up on the home study student before one of them pulled the knife and slashed the victim in the face.

He ran to Avenal High School offices for help. The suspects reported for class at the continuation school 200 yards away.

"We're happy it wasn't as bad as it could've been," said Reef-Sunset Unified Superintendent David East.

East says the park between the two schools is occasionally a hot spot for gang violence. He says administrators have cameras at school sites and do everything they can to keep students safe.

"They've got a lot of activity at the park and we're always watching and looking," East said. "Unfortunately, we can't see everything that happens."

The continuation school was locked down briefly Tuesday, but only long enough to round up the suspects.

The victim suffered a cut to his face, but he's expected to recover. Other students tell ABC30 this isn't the first time he's been stabbed.