Oakdale Police made an arrest for attempted murder following a stabbing early morning Saturday, Feb. 25 at a local bar. They are also investigating the death of a 43-year-old city woman in an unrelated incident.
According to police reports, Benjamin Alexander Crouch, 22, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and booked at the Stanislaus County Jail after officers were dispatched to a stabbing at the Battered Beaver bar in the 100 block of N. Yosemite Ave., about 1:15 a.m. Saturday. A second subject was detained at the scene but subsequently released.
Five young men, all in their early to mid 20s, sustained serious injuries in the dangerous melee that erupted during the fight that occurred at the Battered Beaver. Three of the four who sustained stab wounds are still in the hospital for treatment of what Oakdale Police Det. Max Messina called "very serious injuries."
Although the case is still under investigation, police are fairly certain the fight was not gang-related. None of the victims knew Crouch or Crouch's male companion.
"The fight seemed unprovoked," Det. Messina stated.
Messina said the fight seemed to stem from a mild verbal exchange after one of the men accidentally bumped into Crouch's friend. One of the victims was a bartender who tried to break apart the fight and ended up getting stabbed.
The knife Crouch used to stab the victims was described as a large pocketknife.
Anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Oakdale Police Department, Det. Max Messina, at 209-847-2231.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 24, police received a 9-1-1 call of a 43-year-old female not breathing at a residence in the 100 block of N. Sixth Ave., and the woman was pronounced dead on the scene just after 4:30 p.m. An autopsy revealed the death as not suspicious.
The deceased woman’s name is being withheld pending notification of the family.
Detectives Brian Shimmel and Max Messina are investigating.