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Police hold teen in two-month-old gang stabbing

Central Point police have arrested an alleged gang member known by the street name "Alien Boy" on assault and other charges for his suspected role in a stabbing in early January.

Manuel Enrique Castillo, 17, was arrested Tuesday at the Central Point police station on charges of second-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangering, harassment and disorderly conduct. He was lodged at the Jackson County juvenile detention center.

Investigators said in a news release today that Castillo claims to be a Norteño gang member.

He is suspected of stabbing a 19-year-old Central Point man in an altercation Jan. 7 near the corner of Second and Manzanita streets. The victim and another young man were walking north on Second Street at about 11:35 a.m. when a pickup with five Hispanic guys drove by and someone in the pickup yelled something about Norteños, Central Point police Lt. Chuck Newell said.

The truck then stopped and four men got out to confront the two walking down the street. After a verbal altercation, Castillo pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the abdomen, Newell said.

Friends drove the victim to Rogue Valley Medical Center, where he was initially listed in serious condition while doctors evaluated the wound. He has since fully recovered, police said.

Investigators said Castillo, who doesn't have a permanent address here, fled the Rogue Valley after the stabbing and was reported to be in Portland and in California in the time since the assault. Central Point police sent information to law enforcement agencies across the region asking for help in finding Castillo.

When he discovered he was the focus of a widespread investigation, he called a Central Point detective and arranged to turn himself in Monday, Newell said.

— Anita Burke