A Stabbing And A Mystery Witness – April 20, 2011

On Tuesday, April 19  at about 1:22 a.m., officers responded to the report of 10-12 people being involved in a fight in the area of Fifth and H Streets. Upon the officers' arrival, people were fleeing in all directions. The area was checked and none of the involved parties were located or identified.

An APD evidence technician and Detective Bob Martinez work the crime scene Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy Mark Sailors

At 2:06 a.m., the Arcata Police Department received a report of a stabbing victim arriving at the Mad River Community Hospital Emergency Room. Officers responded and contacted the 22-year-old male victim at the hospital. The victim told the officers that he had been walking with two other friends from the area of the Arcata Plaza when they encountered a group of six to 10 transient subjects.

The two groups exchanged words and then became involved in a physical altercation in the area of Fifth and H streets. During the altercation the victim was stabbed once in the back. The victim described the suspect as a white male adult in his mid 20s, with long brown dreadlock hair. The suspect was wearing baggy and patchy earth tone-colored clothing. The suspect was last seen fleeing the area towards Samoa Boulevard and H Street.
During the altercation an unidentified male resident came out of a nearby house and attempted to break-up the fight, but left prior to the officer's arrival. Investigator would like to speak to the unidentified man to determine if he witnessed the stabbing or can aid in identification of the suspect. Anyone with information about the altercation is encouraged to contact the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.
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  1. Robert Benson said:

    CLARIFICATION: For the record; the “Nancy” I referred to, above, was Attorney Nancy DeLaney, not Attorney Nancy Diamond. I apologize, especially to Nancy Diamond, for any false impressions that I may have caused.

  2. Robert Benson said:

    Though, apparently, alluding you, conspiracy theories are, also, used to arrest the actions of rich people who believe that they are above the law and can manipulate the power entrusted to them by the People to carry out their private agendas, by depriving, or extorting, others of their rights to free speech and political affiliation.

  3. Robert Benson said:

    Please, note you disagree with yourself. Without commenting, further, on Obama’s recent long birth certificate disclosure or the War on Christmas, if I was lazy, I would have given up, long ago – this is the hardest work that I have ever done, and I have worked seven days a week on 12-14 hour shifts demolishing buildings and salvaging equipment. The only cause to me being unemployable is the fact that all my time is being taken by securing my rights, as they have not been willingly afforded to me. As to goofball, maybe you got me a little, there; I am just trying to have some fun through it All. Keep your personal judgments to yourself, I imagine our standards of measure differ considerably. My knack is for standing up for my rights, the fact that one receives retribution, around here, for doing so, especially, if one appears to be, or is, a homeless hippie, is beyond my control, outside of court. In court the playing field is leveled, substantially; though, around here, really, not so much. FYI, Conspiracy was a cause of action, long before it became a buzzword.

  4. Robert Benson said:

    You have not seen his new black “Batmobile” or his long black trench coat, I am guessing…He looks like Batman, man.

  5. kevpod said:

    I disagree. They do need to invent conspiracies, for various reasons. There’s money to be made selling books, for example, about the president’s Kenyan origins. And what about the War on Christmas? That sold a lot of books. Or let’s say you’re a lazy, unemployable goofball. Well obviously it’s everyone else’s sinister collusion that prevents you from making anything of yourself. Maybe you have a knack for getting into pointless legal beefs that just suck everyone’s time and energy… that’s because these people who never met you and don’t know you somehow found and singled you out for harassment. Or maybe you’re an unsuccessful political candidate – you were repressed! Conspiracy theories serve a lot of purposes, from profit to distraction to self-exoneration.

  6. Robert Benson said:

    supplant, “and others similarly situated of their”, in place, “of his”, and I will concur with your statement, without reservation. You know what Eustace Mullins, who was mentored and inspired to research conspiracies by Ezra Pound, who also mentored Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats, having spent much of his life’s work on researching conspiracies, has said about conspiracies? No one needs to make conspiracies up….

  7. Robert Benson said:

    Imagine Photoshop, a black mask, with little pointed ears on top, and a black cape on Officer Ramirez, above, and a message bubble saying, “I’m Batman”, or similar statement relevant to the scene.

  8. kevpod said:

    Another conspiracy. It should be obvious by now that all Humboldt officialdom, plus the news media and non-governmental powers that be spend the majority of their time contriving ways to deprive Robert Benson of his rights.

  9. Robert Benson said:

    One would think. However, the Grand Jury is merely a Civil Grand Jury and will not investigate criminal matters brought to them by a Citizen. If I have been there and seen it with by eyes, heard it with my ears, and felt it with my body, it is news to me, if it is hearsay.
    Get this, I just got the minutes from the court which show that, after agreeing to a stipulation to continue a demurrer hearing on a complaint that I had filed over a false arrest, conspiracy and deprivation of rights case that began on Oct. 11, 2008, opposing counsel gets the demurrer sustained, in my absence. Now, that is Dirty, Nancy! She knows I have appealed a restraining order that has banned me from the county law library which was filed, directly, after I sent out informal Claim for Damages letters to some local parties, giving them notice of my intent to sue. That outrageously fraudulent order has stopped my ability to defend my self from their perjury and conspiracy and prosecute my rights that have been violated.

  10. Mark Sailors said:

    Let me get this right,basically you are saying that enforcement has to do with the “class” of the citizen involved? I can only tell you what I have seen with my own eyes in regards to the way APD treats the citizenry in Arcata. I have never seen them treat anyone with anything less than the utmost courtesy and respect, even when they are arresting someone who is violent, aggressive and verbally abusive. You may have seen other things, it is not my place to say what you have or have not seen.
    If you have evidence that someone violated CPC sect. 136.1, then you should file a complaint or seek a grand jury indictment. If not then it is all hearsay and rumor.

  11. Robert Benson said:

    I concur, if someone made a threat against YOUR wife, child or you, APD would take it seriously. However, if you were homeless, though more vulnerable to violence, APD, EPD and HCDAO would not consider the threat to be “immediate”, if no weapon was brandished; FYI, declarations under penalty of perjury were admitted. Additionally, you may want to consider Cal. Pen. Code Section 136.1(c) and Cal. Civil Code 52, especially, at (c)(2), as the Arcata city attorney is with knowledge of the incident.

  12. Mark Sailors said:

    I think if someone made a credible threat to the life of , my wife, my child,or me that APD would take it seriously.
    Now, since the threat is not a felony, they would need to see, or hear it happen, unless there was a “brandished” weapon involved.

  13. Robert Benson said:

    What I mean to tell you is that, if you, or someone similarly situated, threatened the life of a homeless hippie – say, for saying something that you did not like or that implicated you in a civil or criminal matter – the APD, EPD, and HCDAO, would say that, if the one whom threatened you did not have a weapon, then the threat is not “immediate”, as the statute defines or requires. I consider it obfuscation, what do you think?

  14. Mark Sailors said:

    I just want to get this straight, you mean to tell us that APD wouldn’t do anything if someone threatened to burn down a house or some other building unless they had a Molitov cocktail in hand? I find that hard to believe, knowing what the law says in regards to terrorist threats.

  15. Robert Benson said:

    I am aware of the statewide jurisdiction of terroristic threats, however, APD, EPD and the DA’s office, have informed me that, if no weapon is present, while the threat is made, that it is not an immediate threat. Again, I take particular exception to the premise and opine that if the reporting victim were a local homeowner or downtown business owner the theory would be applied differently.

    I do not mean to defend any of the parties involved in the stabbing. I merely attempted to provide some perspective from what I have witnessed. There seemed to be some similarities in the incident reported, above, and incidents that I have observed.

  16. Ben said:

    3 on 10?

    I know hate crimes against homeless are real (and on the rise) but you’d have to be pretty damn ballsy to take on a group that outnumbers you 3-1. Without a weapon.

    Not saying ‘whose to blame’ one way or the other. Maybe both. No one but the people involved know what really happened, I imagine. Everything here seems to be smoke and mirrors defending or arguing against different populations.

    An age old Arcata tradition, if you think about it.

  17. Mark Sailors said:

    It reads as if you were speaking of one incident.
    I posted what the CPC says about criminal threats, that is statewide and really not up to any one forces discretion, except for the discretion any officer is allowed.

  18. Robert Benson said:

    The part about the threat was unrelated to the incident covered by the Arcata Eye, above, nor was it related to the incident that I described, above. I was referencing a completely separate incident, in which the Arcata police have informed me that it is not criminal to threaten someone’s life, if no weapon is present, on the theory that the threat is not credible, if no weapon is present. Mind you, I take particular exception to the theory, however, that is APD’s policy; by the way, same with Eureka. I imagine that, if I was a home owner or, especially, a downtown business owner, the policy would be quite different. Enjoy!

  19. The Greenman said:

    The classism in Arcata is directly sanctioned by City Hall. In particular, Alexandra Stillman and Mark Wheetley. Both have been incessantly trying to shut down resources for the poor and directing APD to target the areas that homeless hang out. Fortunately, the police recognize that ‘Tavern Row’ is more of a threat to our peace than the broke pot-smoking hippies.

  20. Mark Sailors said:

    Making threats of violence is a crime.
    California Terrorist and Criminal Threats Law
    Under California Penal Code Section 422, a terrorist or criminal threat is taken very seriously. To be convicted of a criminal threat charge, the alleged act must meet the following 5 conditions.
    The 5 Elements of a Criminal or Terrorist Threats
    California Penal Code Section 422

    1. The accused willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or unlawfully inflict great bodily injury on another person
    2. The accused made the threat with the specific intent that it be taken as a threat
    3. The threat is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and the immediate prospect of execution (the person was very clear and specific about carrying out the threat)
    4. The threat actually caused sustained fear in the victim (for “a period of time that extends beyond what is momentary, fleeting, or transitory”)
    5. The sustained fear was reasonable

    I would tend to think that if a knife was used it would fall under “a sustained reasonable fear.”

  21. Robert Benson said:

    You know what they say about “assuming”. There was no drug deal, my acquaintance was trying to reason with the young haters in an attempt to appeal to their conscience; apparently, they had none. One of subjects was identified as the child of a local official and the victim was too scared to tell the police, if you must know. I informed the police of the incident and they would not make a report; they simply said that the officer’s child was too young to do that. The Arcata Police have also informed me that threatening someone’s life is not criminal, if no weapon was present; though, I imagine that if I threatened someone who is not homeless, the incident would be considered criminal. I have no intention of testing my theory.

  22. Mark Sailors said:

    I was referring to the situation that Robert mentioned, not the rolling argument that led the the stabbing the article and photo are about.
    Sorry if i was less than clear on that.

  23. kevpod said:

    That seems like the least of the mysteries. People hook up and wander off all the time downtown. As you surely know, that’s one of the primary functions of the nightlife there. They could have been headed off to a party or just to spark up somewhere. In this case, it sounds like they had a rolling bitchfest that wandered down to Fifth and H.

  24. Mark Sailors said:

    Why would anyone walk away into a strange non well lit location with a group of strangers? Sounds to me like a drug deal gone bad, especially since the “victim” did not press charges.

  25. Robert Benson said:

    First of all, you assume the “transients”, also, threw the first blow. I have not been informed, as such, perhaps, you care to enlighten me. Allow me to share a story with you…A few months ago, I was standing on the sidewalk, listening to the best poet that I have ever heard – claimed to never write his words down, yet, could go on an on, seemingly, for hours. A girl and two guys walked by us and the girl appeared to go out of her way to step on the poet’s jacket. The poet went on, unabashed, and the girl pushed on, with a condescending remark about “homeless” something or another. The two guys, then, started in and made some other derogatory comment, about us. The poet and I payed them no mind, however, my acquaintance attempted to appeal to their conscience and said something like, “Ah, come on, you don’t have to be like that.” My acquaintance stepped forward, putting his arm around the guys shoulder, reasserting his plea for the young, apparently, college age kids to be more civil and polite. The three young adults, kept talking to my acquaintance, as the four of them walked around the corner and out of my sight. I assumed, due to the young age and well kempt appearance of the youngsters, that my acquaintance was safe and just talking to them. Before I knew it, my acquaintance was back, breathing heavy, and his hands were bleeding. He claimed that one of the guys said, “We came down here to kill one of you homeless, mother&^$#@(&” and the other said, “We don’t care about your Constitutional Rights, either”, right before one swung around, swinging a knife towards my acquaintances’ throat. Fortunately, my acquaintance always wears a lot of rings on his fingers and was able to stop the knife, although, his fingers were cut pretty bad. Allegedly, the victim grabbed the knife swinger by the throat and they were quickly on the ground. The victims cross, around his neck, allegedly, flew off and landed at the other guy’s feet and he stopped his approach, as the metal cross cling-clanged to a stop. My acquaintance, quickly, subdued the assailant, apparently, the throat is pretty sensitive. One of the suspects was identified, though, the victim refused to tell the police. Anyway, I apologize for going on, as I did. I wanted to make a point, that there are young adults, around here, who think it is a sport to beat up homeless People. The studies that I have seen, indicate that 25% of reported attacks on the homeless end up in their death; as opposed to 1/10th of one (1) % (=.1%) of all the federally recognized hate crime categories combined, also, end in death.

  26. Mark Sailors said:

    I have a HUGE mouth, and feel free to run it where ever and when ever I please.
    What I say is NEVER, reason to put your hands on me, nor is it cause to try to murder me, that’s what stabbing someone in the back is, attempted murder. Since when are “hippies” the type to murder people?

  27. Robert Benson said:

    Though I, unequivocally, maintain that violence is, strictly, for defense and when used in vengeful retaliation, one should be held liable; however, when a city, like Arcata, initiates a policy of discrimination and hatred, against the hippie class, it promotes violence. Time and time, again, I have been the victim of, and have witnessed, verbal assaults, by young, clean cut, apparently, high school or college kids, who ridicule homeless people, for being homeless. I, and most others, simply, ignore their hatred, unwilling to take the bait. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and, upon occasion, homeless people, unwilling to accept the abjection, retaliate, either, with words, with fists, or in very rare cases, with weapons. While I, certainly, do not condone this type of behavior, I see it to be a, somewhat, expected reaction to a course of conduct, by Arcata residents and city hall, that constantly harasses the homeless class. I understand, from talking with local authorities, that the two college kids started the verbal altercation with the 8-10 “transients”. Now, what type of mentality would cause two young kids to instigate a fight with a group of 8-10 similarly aged individuals. Surely, some responsibility lies with those who first offended, whether, verbally or physically. Again, I do not condone non-defensive violence, yet, when you discriminate and espouse a policy of hatred for a class of People; negative results are to be expected. Teach equality, and maintain a policy of equality, and peace and justice are to be expected. My thoughts and prayers to the victim, who is, apparently, also a victim of Arcata’s hateful policies, apparent from the reported discriminatory and offensive comments about the hippies messing up the Park on the, then, up-coming 420 pilgrimage. Stop the hatred, you are breeding animosity and separation.

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