2017-07-13 / Front Page

Suspect in stabbing at fairgrounds behind bars

By Gazette staff

Clifton Barnard Clifton Barnard Law enforcement officials had a hectic Friday afternoon last week.

With wildfires having broken out earlier in the afternoon, Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about a stabbing at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds at approximately 5:15 p.m.

The suspect was identified as Clifton “Poncho” Barnard, 61, of Mariposa. Prior to deputies arriving on scene, Barnard fled the area in a small gray sedan.

Barnard was eventually arrested at 12:17 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, July 8, outside his home near the fairgrounds.

“We were not on a stake out, however, we did have units actively in the area of the fairgrounds from the time of the incident until the arrest,” said public information officer Kristie Mitchell.

Barnard surrendered without incident.

“He was compliant with everything he was instructed to do,” Mitchell said.

Barnard was booked into the Mariposa County Jail on charges of attempted murder, a felony, and assault with a deadly weapon, a felony.

The victim, a 53-year-old Mariposa man, was located in the grass area near the Gold Bowl.

Law enforcement personnel have yet to release the victim’s name. The victim was flown to an area hospital.

At Tuesday’s Mariposa County Board of Supervisors meeting, Sheriff Doug Binnewies said the victim “is recovering quite well, I understand.”

Officials said the incident was not related to the Yosemite Music Festival, which was held at the fairgrounds over the weekend.

The sheriff also said during Tuesday’s meeting the first information officials were given was for a suspect, possibly a transient, who was stabbing people at the fairgrounds.

He said a heavy police presence was immediately on the scene and they determined it was two local men who were “fighting over a personal issue.”

Barnard was arraigned Tuesday morning and his bail was set at $850,000.

He is set to appear in court for a pre-preliminary hearing on Monday, July 24 at 9 a.m. in Mariposa County Superior Court.

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