Two men were arrested Thursday and charged in a brutal attack on a man on Oct. 28 in Parklawn Park in south Modesto.
Tactical teams from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department served a search and arrest warrant at the Modesto home of Daniel Avina, 23, while Ceres Police served one at the Ceres home of Erik Rocha, 29.
Both were booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury, participation in a criminal street gang, and conspiracy participating in a criminal street gang. Rocha was also additionally charged with four counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Known members of the Norteno criminal street gang arrived at the park – which is located south of Hatch Road west of Morgan Road – and decided to attack two individuals in the park. One managed to run away, but the other was knocked the ground, and savagely kicked in the head and torso until he lost consciousness. Injuries were severe enough to require hospitalization.
Sheriff’s detectives spent about a month investigating the attack and suspects after witnesses came forward with key information. “Their actions helped to combat the violence caused by dangerous gang members who threaten and endanger the safety of others,” a department press release stated.
Both men were positively identified as the suspects through separate lineups. A department spokesman said criminal street gang members commonly intimidate local residents by trying to stake ownership of parks, stores, neighborhood blocks, and other shared areas.