Teens face charges in stabbing of alleged rival gang member in Kennewick

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldApril 1, 2013 

Two teens are accused of chasing down a gang rival and stabbing him in the chest as the man tried to get away in a friend's car.

Jaziel Ramirez, 17, pleaded innocent recently in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement.

He is being held on $50,000 bail.

Ramirez's case automatically was bumped up to adult court because of his age and the severity of the charge. His trial is scheduled May 13.

However, Kendrick Serratos, 15, remains in Benton County Juvenile Court on one count of first-degree assault.

Prosecutors have requested a decline hearing to determine if Serratos will be tried as a juvenile or an adult.

According to Kennewick police and court documents, Oscar Hernandez was walking on Fourth Avenue near Conway Street at 6:30 p.m. March 24 when two males began chasing him.

Hernandez, 20, of Kennewick, is a gang member with visible tattoos, including on his head, documents said. Ramirez and Serratos reportedly are known by police to be associated with a rival gang. Hernandez believed he was going to be assaulted so he ran away.

A woman who knows both Hernandez and Serratos was driving in the area when she saw Hernandez being chased, so she maneuvered her car so Hernandez could jump into the passenger side and get away, court documents said. The driver allegedly saw Serratos carrying a knife when she moved to help the friend.

Hernandez was trying to open the door and get in when Ramirez and Serratos caught up and began punching him, documents said. The driver hit the gas pedal and her car ended up hitting a curb, causing a tire to blow out.

Hernandez's attackers took off, so the driver continued down the road a short distance until pulling over and calling 911.

Hernandez was stabbed in the left side of his chest and was bleeding from his nose from being hit, court documents said. He was taken by ambulance to Kennewick General Hospital, where his wound was determined not to be life-threatening and he was held overnight.

Kennewick police surrounded the area and within 15 minutes had Ramirez and Serratos in custody as the suspects.

They were found walking by a frozen yogurt shop on Kennewick Avenue. A customer told police he had seen the taller of the two males -- later identified as Serratos -- throw something over the fence in the parking lot. Officers found an open folding knife, documents said.

The female driver who tried to help Hernandez get away was taken to the parking lot so she could confirm the two suspects were the ones who had attacked Hernandez, documents said.

The next day, a customer at a nearby car repair shop told an employee there was a knife in the parking lot. Police were called in and watched security video from that Sunday evening which allegedly shows the suspects walking through the lot and Ramirez reaching into his pocket and dropping something onto the ground.

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