REDDING, Calif. - Police said a stabbing Sunday morning left Joseph Anthony Ortega, 36, of Willows in critical condition. Ortega is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Medical Center.
Redding Police Officers were dispatched after receiving a call of a fight and stabbing around 1:10 a.m. at 4095 Railroad Avenue. Five subjects were reported as being involved in the fight.
A California Highway Patrol helicopter and deputies from the Shasta County Sheriff's Office also responded.
When law enforcement arrived they found Ortega unconscious with a single stab wound to the front of the neck. The suspect, Billy Wayne Goss, a 36-year-old transient from the Redding area, was booked in the Shasta County Jail.
According to police, Ortega and Goss had never met before the incident. Ortega and his adult son traveled to Redding with a friend to pick up a mutual acquaintance. They stopped for food at Jack in the Box next to the AM/PM.
Police said it was there that Ortega and his son became involved in a verbal argument with Goss and two of his friends. When a fight broke out between the two parties, they said Goss stabbed Ortega in the neck and left the scene.
Officers found Goss hiding under a ditch under a bridge several yards away. However, the knife he used to stab Ortega has not yet been located.
If you witnessed the altercation or have any information, contact the Redding Police Investigations Unit at 225-4200.