Murrieta camper stabbed multiple times in attack at Lake Perris State Recreation Area
A 26-year-old Temecula man is in custody on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with a knife attack Tuesday, July 4, inside the Lake Perris State Recreation Area.
Park Superintendent John Rowe said the attacked occurred around 6:30 a.m. when two campers were returning to Lake Perris after grabbing breakfast.
Cannon Merrylees of Murrieta was driving when Ivan Hernandez of Temecula reportedly began messing with the car’s stick shift. The driver asked Hernandez to stop, Rowe said.
“At that point, unprovoked, Mr. Hernandez grabbed a pocket knife and stabbed him multiple times,” Rowe said.
When state park police arrived at the scene, they found Merrylees with stab wounds to his neck and chest, Rowe said. Merrylees was treated for his wounds but declined to be taken to a hospital for further evaluation, Rowe said.
As Merrylees gave officers a description of the suspect, authorities realized they had just arrested someone matching that description for drunk in public, Rowe said.
Hernandez was already being taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside. Officers went back to the jail to re-interview Hernandez but he declined to talk, Rowe said.
Hernandez is being held on suspicion of attempted murder and on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.