Mad River Union
ARCATA – There may be as many as 100 potential witnesses to the fatal stabbing that took place early this morning at Ninth and H streets in Downtown Arcata.
Arcata Police are investigating the case and have yet to release the name of the victim pending notification of next of kin. Police are searching for the suspect, described as male, possibly Hispanic or Native American, with an average build, 5 foot 7 inches tall and wearing a blue T-shirt and gray hoodie.
The stabbing took place shortly before 1:40 a.m., which is when officers were dispatched to the 900 block of H Street.
The Jam had just concluded its Whomp Whomp Wednesday, an evening of DJ music and dancing.
According to Pete Ciotti, the owner of The Jam, about a 100 people were outside the H Street business when some sort of fight broke out.
“Some kind of beef went down out here,” Ciotti said while standing near the crime scene.
Ciotti said that the victim was apparently stabbed on the street in front of The Jam. The victim, reportedly stabbed multiple times, then walked to the corner of H and Ninth streets, and fell over on Ninth Street near The Garden Gate.
Ciotti said that a person, who he was told was a nurse, was giving the victim chest compressions before emergency personnel arrived. The victim was taken to Mad River Community Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, according to APD.
Ciotti described the victim as a “20-something-year-old kid” who has been a regular at The Jam for the last few months.
“The guy who died... he was in here having a good ole time. He comes in here all the time,” Ciotti said. “He’s totally a pretty chill kid.”
Ciotti said he went outside shortly after the stabbing and tried to figure out what was happening.
“The first thing I did was to go ask questions to anyone who could give me answers to try to figure out what’s going on,” Ciotti said.
“The whole thing that I’m still struggling with today and makes me really upset was how complacent everyone’s answers were,” said Ciotti, who questioned how all these people could be watching the incident but not know anything.
“I couldn’t believe that nobody I talked to last night could tell me anything about it,” Ciotti said. “Did the guy run away? Did the guy get in a car? Is the guy standing amongst us?”
“I don’t understand it,” Ciotti said. “Somebody saw something.”
Ciotti said he was on the scene until about 4 a.m., but the cops were there much longer. “They were out here working on this for hours,” he said.
This afternoon, Officer Falkenstine, who asked that his first name not be used, was cleaning blood off the window of the Garden Gate. He offered to clean it up so the business owners wouldn’t have to do it herself.