Two inmates already incarcerated on other unrelated felony charges were re-booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on attempted murder charges after an inmate-on-inmate assault in the jail in west Ceres.
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department patrol deputies were dispatched to the county jail facility at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29 after the attempted murder with a makeshift knife. The victim sustained deep lacerations to his shoulder, neck and head.
The involved prisoners had been separated, and the victim was taken by ambulance to a local area hospital for treatment of injuries.
The victim was sitting a commonly shared recreation area when cellmates Patrick Benjamin Solis, 50, and Juan Manuel Garcia, 24, approached him to attack him from behind. Solis and Garcia were identified as the attackers through witnesses and reviewing video surveillance footage.
Jail detention deputies, charged with jail intelligence gathering, provided investigators with valuable information captured from telephone recordings.
Even though there was a general lack of cooperation from the victim, which can be common in custodial facilities for fear of further reprisal, deputies were able to establish enough probable cause to rebook Solis and Garcia on attempted murder charges.
The weapon used in the attack was termed a jailhouse made shiv or shank, made from commonly used products such as razors used for shaving.
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Luke Schwartz said jail staff makes every effort to routinely search jail cells for weapons and contraband but that “some inmates become creative and use nefarious means for smuggling in certain items.”
Both Solis and Garcia were already in-custody on separate and unrelated criminal charges that included evading a police officer, carjacking, robbery and murder. The man who was stabbed had been arrested on charges of homicide, robbery and attempted robbery. Solis and Garcia now face new attempted murder charges.
The case will now be referred to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office for review and eventual prosecution.