ATWATER, CA – Seth J. Mielke has been identified as the victim of a stabbing that occurred today near the Applebee’s Grill and bar on Commerce Avenue. The 32-year-old was flown to a Modesto hospital and listed in serious condition.

The suspect, James Yanez, 31, was taken into custody shortly after the incident and authorities believe he may suffer from mental health problems.

“It appears the victim and the suspect do know each other,” Lt. Joseph of the Atwater PD said.

The 1:45 p.m. incident happened as the suspect began yelling that he was going to hurt himself with a knife he had in his hand. The suspect and victim  Mielke is believed to have been trying to talk the suspect out of hurting himself when the suspect then attacked him. A witness said it appeared the suspect cut the victim near his neck.

When officers arrived the suspect was ordered to drop the buck knife he has waving around in the air. When the suspect noticed officers drawing their weapons he immediately threw the weapon away and taken into custody.

A witness at the scene also stated that when the police drew down on the suspect, the victim got between the suspect and the APD and told them, “Don’t shoot!”

The victim’s wounds do not appear to be life threatening and the suspect was booked into the county jail and being held on $553,000 bond.

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