REDDING, Calif. -

A Redding man suffered severe lacerations after his father stabbed him following an argument Thursday in what police are calling an ongoing issue amongst the Northstate's homeless population.

Police said 48-year-old Tracey Cearley stabbed his son, 23-year-old Trevor Cearley, at a transient camp in north Redding after they had an argument.

Officers responded to the AM/PM convenience store on Lake Boulevard around 9:11 a.m. after receiving reports of a wounded man and a possible stabbing. When police arrived they found the younger Cearley bleeding from deep cuts on his arm. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

As police searched the area for the elder Cearley they stopped to examine the camp where the attack occurred. The father and son lived in a hastily constructed two-story camp located not more than 50 feet from the businesses that line Lake Boulevard. Inside the makeshift enclosure, formed from a combination of tents and scrap materials, there were signs of a struggle. An overturned flower pot was lying next to a small dried-up pool of blood.

Not more than 30 feet down the trail that runs alongside the Cearley's camp lays another camp sight. The woman that lived next to the father and son asked not to be identified but said the son often picked fights with his father.

"He had it coming," she said. "He was coming down off dope and giving his dad a hard time."

Officers were not immediately able to locate the father as he had fled the scene but they said this kind of violence was typical in the transient community that lives illegally in the gulch south of Lake Boulevard.

When police located the father later in the afternoon he told them he stabbed his son in self-defense. Police said the son confirmed the story and both Cearleys were released.

Officers at the scene were not optimistic about the future. One officer opined that until a solution is found to handle Redding's transient population, the daily assaults and thefts that have plagued the city will continue.

The District Attorney's Office has been given the assault case for review.