A local teenager was asked if he belongs to a gang. He said, "No" and nearly paid with his life.
Hanford police say a 17-year-old boy was viciously attacked by gang members.
He owes his life to a friend who stepped in to save him.
It happened Thursday night in the area of Ivy and Brown Street in Hanford.
Neighbors say the area is popular with teenagers, but they also say some people are up to no good. "I've seen police taking people down with guns. The same thing happened over here before the stabbing," said neighbor Cheryl Vanwye.
Late Halloween night, as trick or treaters headed home, police got a call of a stabbing.
A 17-year-old boy had been stabbed in the back three times. Police say a group of guys ganged up on him because he told them he didn't belong to a gang.
George Hernandez with the Hanford Police Department said, "Words were exchanged in regard to what his gang affiliation was. When he denied being involved in the gang, one subject assaulted him. He fought back. Another subject assaulted him also."
That's when police say friends jumped in to save him. "At one point, one of the friends of the victim jumped on top of him to protect him and sustained a few injuries also," said Hernandez.
The young man was driven to a Fresno hospital.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hanford Police Department.