Arcata Police seek reported slashing suspect

Mad River Union

ARCATA – Arcata Police are asking for the public's help in solving a slashing incident reported to have occurred the night of Aug. 26. The incident appears in the daily bulletin for that day in APD's Citizen RIMS online crime reports.

According to Police Chief Brian Ahearn, an 18-year-old African American Humboldt State freshman student was walking southbound on G Street between 10 and 11:30 p.m. when he saw a transient-appearing male walking toward him with a knife.

Feeling threatened, the student said he started to "wail and flail" his arms, and at some point came in contact with the other man's knife. He sustained a two-inch gash on the inside of his left arm and fled back to the HSU campus. The victim was treated at Mad River Community Hospital, where he received four stitches.

Arcata Police and Humboldt State Police responded, but found no evidence at the reported scene. Ahearn said a few droplets of blood were found on the pedestrian overpass linking G Street with L.K. Wood Boulevard, but it wasn't clear whether or not they were from the injured student.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5 feet, 7 inches tall with a blond beard, wearing baggy blue jeans and brown boots. The victim said he had been approached by the same man in the area the previous night and felt threatened, so he left the area.

According to Ahearn, the student said that he reported the initial incident to University Police, but that HSUPD has no record of any report. HSU Police Chief Donn Peterson is on vacation, and Lt. Melissa Hansen was unavailable for comment. HSUPD Sgt. John Packer said he was aware of the incident, but couldn't confirm any details.

Police located video confirming the students' walking route that night, but it didn't depict the attack. Officers canvassed the area the following night and located two individuals who had been near where the attack was reported to have occurred, but they hadn't seen anything.

Ahearn said APD has no clues, but is continuing to investigate. He asked that anyone with information contact APD at (707) 822-2424.





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