A Gustine man is recovering from a stabbing injury he sustained when a verbal argument turned physical, the Gustine Police Department reported.

A suspect, identified as Juan Pablo Caballero Ornelas, 25, of Gustine was apprehended by the police department and booked into Merced County Jail on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a fireworks violation.

The incident was reported to the police department by a witness to the attack around 8:30 p.m. Sept. 12, but the actual attack happened around 2:50 a.m. Sept. 12 in the 1300 block of Verde Drive, said Gustine Police Lt. Sam Joseph.

The male victim and the suspect had been hanging out with a group of people and there had been heavy drinking, Joseph said. At some point a verbal argument between the victim and the suspect turned physical and the suspect stabbed the victim in the jaw.

The victim took himself to Memorial Hospital Los Banos, who in turn flew him by air ambulance to UC Davis because of the extent of the injury. The victim had to get 45 stitches to his jaw, Joseph said.

the victim was initially uncooperative, but additional investigation eventually changed his mind and he started providing the investigators with details about the account.

Ornelas was taken into custody on Sept. 17 in the 1700 block of Fentem Road.