Man stabbed near Palm Desert Walmart


PALM DESERT, Calif. - Two men were arrested Thursday night after allegedly stabbing a man outside a Wells Fargo in Palm Desert.

Just before 10 p.m. Thursday, Palm Desert police respond to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery on the 34300 block of Monterey Avenue.

At the scene, deputies learned the victim was using an ATM machine at the Wells Fargo in shopping center when he was approached by two men who demanded the victim give them his money.

The suspects ended up stabbing the victim, who managed to get in his car and drive to the nearby Wal-Mart for help. He was soon after taken to a local hospital with serious, but non life-threatening injuries.

Miguel Garcia, age 19 of Thousand Palms, and Isaac Hernandez, age 23 of Pomona were found in the area shortly thereafter. According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, evidence linking the two men to the crime "was found in their possession and both suspects were arrested." However, the report does not say what this evidence was, or where exactly it was located.

Both Garcia and Hernandez were transported and booked into the Riverside County Jail located in the city of Indio. Garcia and Hernandez were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery, conspiracy and burglary.

Though police caught the two men, the stabbing still raises concerns for some people, like Charlie Stone.  The Palm Desert resident banks at Wells Fargo and says he's extra cautious because it's so close to Walmart's large parking lot.  "Being 24 hours, you have to be aware of the people, you're surrounding yourself with," said Stone.  "So, it's smart to bank when it's safe."

Kendall Kalweit feels more strongly.  The hair salon owner needed several stitches after getting hit in the head with a gun in a different Walmart parking lot.  He thinks big stores with big parking lots need to do more to keep people safe.  "These mega centers that are all conglomerated together, you take that risk," said Kalweit.  "Who are these people hiring to protect you or deter something like this from happening, or even being a first responder."

Walmart's corporate office sent us this statement about safety at the Palm Desert store:

"First and foremost, we're committed to provide our customers and associates with a safe shopping and working environment. We have a strong relationship with local law enforcement and work closely with them to continually review our safety measures to make them even more effective. In addition to our team of asset protection associates who do a great job to help deter crime on our property, we have added a third party security team to help monitor our parking lot in Palm Desert.  If a customer or associate feels uncomfortable walking to their vehicle, we would be more than happy to provide an escort at any time."

No matter what the store does, Kalweit still cautions shoppers. "Always be aware of your surroundings," said Kalweit.  "Always, always, always be aware of who's around you, what's around you."

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