Two nights of terror

Chico police respond to another spate of stabbings

One of the recent stabbings under investigation took place outside of The Handle Bar.

One of the recent stabbings under investigation took place outside of The Handle Bar.

Photo By tina flynn

Witnesses wanted:
Police are still searching for a suspect who stabbed a man at One-Mile Recreation Area at about 8 p.m. Monday night (Feb. 4). Anyone with information is asked to call Chico police at 897-4900. Butte County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a stabbing in north Chico that occurred on Sunday evening (Feb. 3). Call 538-7321 with info.

Chico police and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office responded to five separate stabbing incidents involving eight victims in a 24-hour period beginning Sunday night (Feb. 3), a continuing trend involving assaults with sharp implements.

“Unfortunately, stabbings are not unusual in Chico,” said CPD Sgt. Scott Franssen, a detective investigating several of the recent cases, “but we’ve definitely noticed a—no pun intended—spike in them recently.”

According to numerous police reports, this week’s slew of stabbings began at 9 p.m. Sunday, when officers responded to a residence on the 1100 block of Nord Avenue to find two victims, one the wife of the suspect.

The woman told police her husband, Joverly Rayford, armed himself with a pair of scissors when an argument between him and another man turned physical. Rayford allegedly stabbed the male victim, who was transported to Enloe Medical Center with two non-life-threatening wounds. The wife intervened and was also stabbed, but denied medical treatment. Rayford was arrested and charged with two felonies, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.

Minutes after the Nord incident, at 9:11 p.m., a second stabbing was reported outside of The Handle Bar on East 20th Street. Two male bar patrons, ages 29 and 38, were wounded by a male juvenile accompanied by two female juveniles. The 29-year-old victim was sent to the hospital, and the young trio ran away.

With Chico police stretched thin by the simultaneous stabbings and a domestic-violence incident on Yosemite Drive, CPD called on the Butte County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the response. BCSO deputies located and detained one of the young women, and the alleged juvenile assailant, a 14-year-old, was arrested around 11:30 p.m.

Again, minutes later, at 11:35 p.m., BCSO deputies responded to another stabbing incident, this one involving a woman who says she was stabbed from behind while running along a roadway near Garner Lane in north Chico. The victim, who is described as being in her 20s, could not identify her assailant.

Shockingly, two more stabbings occurred the next night, Monday, Feb. 4, also within a single hour. At 8:15 p.m., officers dispatched to the Chico Area Recreation and Park District office on Vallombrosa found a man suffering from a stab wound.

The victim, a 21-year-old local transient, told police he had argued with a man at One-Mile Recreation Area, and the man stabbed him once in the leg and fled. The victim said he walked to the CARD office before collapsing. He was taken to Enloe, where he was treated and released. The suspect remains unidentified and is still at large.

While at the hospital with the victim from One-Mile, an officer was contacted by two victims of a separate stabbing incident. The men, both 19, were allegedly attacked on the 2100 block of Holly Avenue by a man witnesses identified as John Patrick Jenkins III, 18. Jenkins was arrested on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. One of the victims required emergency surgery, and both victims reportedly suffered from non-life-threatening injuries.

Suspects Rayford’s and Jenkins’ bail amounts are set at $110,000 and $60,000, respectively.

Though Sunday and Monday nights were especially brutal, police reports have been riddled with details of stabbing incidents in recent months. The prior week saw two other incidents, a Jan. 26 stabbing at Community Park on 20th Street and a Jan. 30 incident on the 1500 block of East Lassen Avenue. This paper recently reported on multiple stabbings that occurred late last year (See Newslines, “Spate of stabbings,” Dec. 13, 2012).

None of the injuries incurred in the recent assaults has been fatal, but Franssen noted this is not for lack of intent.

“Every incident is different, so it’s hard to make generalizations of what people’s intentions are,” he said. “But each is a significant crime, and it’s my opinion that if you’re stabbing someone, you’re intending to inflict great bodily injury or death.

“Unless it’s a defensive action, I’m not sure why you’d stab someone unless you’re trying to kill them.”