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5 Men stabbed during brawl at Spanaway tavern
February 17, 2018

CLICK TO ENLARGE Scene where the stabbings took place. Photo: Pierce County Sheriff's office.
(SPANAWAY, WA.) – The Pierce County Sheriff’s office says five men were stabbed during a brawl outside tavern in Spanaway, Washington Thursday night.

A sheriff's office statement said just before 10 p.m. Thursday several deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a large fight outside TJ's Tavern on Pacific Ave. in Spanaway.

As deputies were enroute they were advised that multiple people involved in the fight had been stabbed and the suspect was still at the scene.

When the first deputies arrived at the tavern there were still several people actively fighting in the parking lot, and the deputies observed several people attempting to render aid to an unconscious man lying on the sidewalk.

Two of the deputies provided first aid to the victim by applying pressure bandages to several lacerations on the man's cheek and on a large laceration on the back of his head.

“Multiple people were yelling at our deputies that they had been stabbed or that their friends had been stabbed and needed help,” said the statement. “Others pointed to the south side of the business and yelled that the suspect had gone that way.”

A sergeant ran to the side of the tavern and located the suspect standing next to a van. The man’s hands were covered in blood, he had trouble standing, his speech was slurred and he smelled of a very strong odor of intoxicants, according to the statement.

Officers said the suspect's hands had multiple wounds on them and deputies located a folding knife on the ground next to the van. It was covered in blood and there were blood smears on the hood of the van as well.

As additional deputies arrived on scene they ran inside the tavern and found three more victims. One man appeared very pale and had blood soaked towels on his wrist; two deputies applied a tourniquet to the man's arm to control the bleeding, as the victim told them that he was wounded while trying to break up the fight.

The second victim inside the tavern had a small laceration on his jaw that he said was from when he tried to break up the fight. The third victim also had a laceration on his neck which he said was from when he tried to protect several females that were thrown to the ground during the fight.

Multiple witnesses told the deputies that the incident started when a heavily intoxicated man started causing problems with numerous people in the tavern and when the man was convinced to leave, he became involved in an argument with another patron while on his way out the door.

The argument reportedly turned into a physical fight in the parking lot where punches were exchanged between the two men.

Witnesses said that multiple other people attempted to separate the two men, as several other people attempted to join in the fight - as one witness said "that's when all hell broke loose".

At one point the intoxicated man displayed a knife and began swinging it around at the other people involved in the fight, wounding several victims.

One victim described seeing the suspect stab his friend and said his friend fell to the ground; the man said he then grabbed a crutch from the bartender and swung it at the suspect, causing the victim to fall to the ground. He said the suspect stabbed him in the head while he was on the ground, then he stood up and hit the suspect with the crutch.

The suspect and several victims were transported to area hospitals for medical treatment.

“While at the hospital the suspect became verbally combative, physically defiant, and began to make threats toward the transport deputy,” said the statement. The 45 year old male suspect was later booked into the Pierce County Jail on five counts of Assault in the 2nd degree.



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