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Gridley Herald

Man Arraigned for Chico Taco Bell Stabbing

Jan 03, 2024 02:05PM ● By Butte County District Attorney News Release

BUTTE COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Chico man’s criminal case was called in Butte County Superior Court today for arraignment on a stabbing at a Chico Taco Bell. Julian Rangel, 25, was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with additional allegations that he caused great bodily injury and had previously been convicted of a felony assault in Yuba County last year.

The local assault charges stem from an incident on December 12, 2023, when Chico Police officers responded to a reported stabbing at the Taco Bell on East 20th Street in Chico.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said evidence gathered established that during the busy lunch hour Rangel was inside Taco Bell playing loud music and being verbally aggressive towards patrons. Rangel was approached by the restaurant’s manager several times, who told him to lower his music or leave.

A DoorDash driver entered the restaurant to pick up a delivery order when Rangel confronted the driver complaining that he didn’t like the way the driver looked at Rangel. Rangel then grabbed the driver by the neck in an attempt to choke him. Rangel also produced a pocket knife to stab the driver, but fortunately missed. The manager stepped in between the driver and Rangel and was stabbed in the left wrist by Rangel. Seven staples were needed to close the wound when the manager was transported to Enloe Hospital, treated, and released.

Customers ran from the store, and Rangel also left the restaurant. Staff was able to lock the doors to keep Rangel out. Rangel attempted to get back into the restaurant by kicking and stabbing at the door. When Rangel couldn’t get back in through the door, Rangel leaped through the restaurant’s open drive-thru window still holding the knife in his hand. Rangel walked around inside the Taco Bell with the knife and appeared to be searching for someone. Staff and an off-duty Enloe-nurse customer however were able to get a hold of Rangel and pin him into the front door until police arrived. Once police arrived, Rangel still possessed the knife and resisted being arrested. During the struggle, the knife slipped out of Rangel’s hand and hit the ground. Rangel was ultimately detained with one officer suffering minor injuries.

Ramsey said his office is awaiting surveillance videos from inside the restaurant to determine if other charges are appropriate.

Rangel refused to leave his jail cell to appear in court where the judge took note of his absence, appointed a public defender to represent Rangel, and set further arraignment for December 21, 2023. Rangel remains in custody on a non-release parole hold for his previous Yuba County assault and $260,000 bail.