Police identify three people suspected in attack last year

Medford police have charged three people suspected in a random beating and stabbing of a man in May.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on May 14, a 26-year-old man walking in the area of Stevens Street and Wabash Avenue was attacked by three people he didn't know, police said. They beat him and stabbed him in the back. He was taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center with a serious stab wound as well as other injuries, Lt. Mike Budreau said.

"This is pretty concerning," Budreau said. "There is usually a reason, so to speak — a girl, gang involvement, robbery. He had no enemies and we had no motive. That's why it took us so long to solve."

A recent tip led investigators to the identity of a man suspected in the stabbing and another man and woman from Medford who participated in the attack.

On Tuesday, police arrested Jose Manuel Ayala, 22, at a home in Trail on charges of second- and third-degree assault. He remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail today without bail.

Police interviewed, cited and released 22-year-old William Christopher Gress and 20-year-old Daisy Cabrera on one charge of third-degree assault each. (Correction: The spelling of Gress' last name has been corrected in this story.)

Investigators claim that Ayala, Gress and Cabrera had decided to assault the next person they saw. The man they attacked was walking home from a bar when he happened to pass them. The assailants also likely had been drinking, Budreau said.

Budreau said a grand jury will review the case today and Gress and Cabrera could face additional charges if jurors determine that the three all acted together to carry out a serious assault.

— Anita Burke

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