Sunday, 19 May 2024

Gang members implicated in Friday night stabbing

Ricardo Muniz (left) and Elias Hernandez were among five Sureno gang members arrested late Friday in connection with the stabbing. Lake County Jail booking photos.

LAKEPORT – Five gang members were arrested Friday night after a man was stabbed in front of a restaurant near Library Park.

Lakeport Police Lt. Brad Rasmussen reported Saturday morning that the incident was reported at 7:57 p.m. Friday, when the Lake County Sheriff's dispatch center received a 911 call from a cell phone.

The incident reportedly happened in front of TNT on the Lake restaurant, at 1 First St., according to Rasmussen's report.

Three Lakeport Police units, assisted by two California Highway Patrol units and three Lake County Sheriff’s units, responded to the scene and located a 20-year-old male victim who had been stabbed numerous times, Rasmussen said.

Lakeport Fire Department medical units responded to the scene and transported the victim to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, said Rasmussen. However, the seriousness of the man's injuries resulted in his transport to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by REACH.

Rasmussen said LPD officers identified and located five documented members of the Sureno street gang who were arrested within a few hours of the stabbing.

Arrested were 18-year-old Ricardo Tapia Muniz of Lakeport, for attempted murder with a felony criminal street gang enhancement; and Elias Hernandez, 19, of Lakeport, on conspiracy and attempted murder charges, also with the gang enhancement.

Muniz and Hernandez are being held in the Lake County Jail, with bail set at $155,000 for Muniz and $150,000 for Hernandez, according to a jail official.

In addition, police arrested three male juveniles: a 14-year-old male from Lakeport, on conspiracy and attempted murder charges with the gang enhancement; a 16-year-old male from Lakeport, facing charges of attempted murder and a street gang enhancement; and a 17-year-old Lakeport resident, who is charged with conspiracy, attempted murder and the enhancement for street gangs. No bail has been set for any of the juveniles, who remain in Juvenile Hall.

Rasmussen said Saturday morning that LPD investigates and documents known street gang members and associated activity within the city limits.

Three officers, led by Det. Norm Taylor, are responsible for that effort, said Rasmussen. All are trained in dealing with gangs, and they're assigned to gang investigations such as this one.

“This is why we were able to quickly locate and arrest the five gang members,” Rasmussen said. “Documented Sureno street gang members have been responsible for other crimes in Lakeport in the past.”


Rasmussen said the investigation into the stabbing will continue through the weekend.



Know Gangs, an organization that provides training about gangs for law enforcement, reports that the Surenos street gang developed in the 1960s out of the Mexican Mafia, which itself emerged during the 1950s in the California prison system.

In the late 1960s Nuestra Familia formed, Know Gangs reports. Most of Nuestra Familia's members were from Northern California, so they became known as the Nortenos, or Northerners. Out of the Mexican Mafia came young men from Southern California then took on the Surenos, or Southerners, moniker, Know Gangs reported.

Surenos are separate today from the Mexican Mafia, according to Know Gangs. They use the number 13 and its variations – XIII, X3, 13 – as well as the letter M (the alphabet's 13th letter) and “Sur” in graffiti and tattoos. Their chosen color is blue, and their

The gangs' presence is noted in local graffiti, especially in the Kelseyville area.

Know Gangs reports that the Surenos is the nation's largest street gang, with members found in every state in the nation.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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