3 charged in Sanford stabbing of two men over dispute that started in Guatemala

SANFORD, Fla. — Police say a disagreement that started in Guatemala led to the stabbing of two men at a Sanford apartment complex last month.


Just after 10 p.m. on August 5, Sanford police officers responded to a 911 call from the Stoneridge Pointe Apartments on West 25th street for reports of a stabbing.

They arrived to find two men outside of one of the apartments with serious stab wounds.

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Both victims were taken to HCA Lake Monroe hospital for urgent medical care.

One of the victims suffered life-threatening wounds to the chest and back that required a blood transfusion to survive. The second victim was treated for a single deep stab wound to the abdomen.

After interviewing the victims and witnesses, Sanford police identified 46-year-old Agusto Garcia-Mendez and his two adult sons, 20-year-old Efrain Garcia-Ramos and 23-year-old Mauricio Garcia-Ramos, as the suspects.

According to police, the three men waited outside of the victim’s apartment and waited for him to return home from work. Investigators say Agusto Garcia Mendez held the victim down while Efrain Garcia Ramos stabbed him multiple times.

The second victim, who was asleep in the apartment at the time, heard screaming and ran outside to see what was happening, and was stabbed by Efrain Garcia Ramos as well.

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One of the victims told police he recognized the suspects because they once lived in the same neighborhood in Guatemala. According to police, the stabbing was done in retaliation for an argument that started there.

The Sanford Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, along with members of the Neighborhood Response Unit, arrested all three suspects Wednesday without incident.

They were each charged with one count of attempted murder. Efrain Garcia Ramos was additionally charged with one count of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon. All three are being held in the Seminole County Jail on no bond.

“The level of violence demonstrated during this unnecessary act, which reportedly occurred over a disagreement, is disturbing,” Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith said in a statement announcing the arrests. “This investigation was fluid from the beginning, and I credit members of our investigative section for acting quickly on behalf of the victims and family.”

The investigation into the stabbing is ongoing.

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Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Sanford Police Department or Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.

Crimeline callers can remain anonymous and could become eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 if the information they provide leads directly to an arrest.

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