Mad River Union
ARCATA – The suspect in the Thursday, Oct. 25 stabbing death of a 26-year-old man in Downtown Arcata is now behind bars.
Witnesses and video surveillance from nearby businesses helped investigators identify Brandon Matthew Watson as the suspect. Then, acting on a tip from a citizen, Arcata Police investigators began surveillance of a residence on Walnut Drive in Cutten on Saturday, Oct. 27. During the operation, Watson, 27, of Arcata was spotted getting into a car. Investigators conducted a traffic stop on the 3900 block of Walnut Drive and took Watson into custody without incident.
Watson was booked into the Humboldt County Correction Facility on suspicion of murder. Police allege that Watson repeatedly stabbed 26-year-old Peter Samuel Triantos in front of The Jam on H Street in Arcata.
Triantos, originally from Alabama, was residing in Eureka at the time of his death.
The stabbing took place shortly before 1:40 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, with APD officers dispatched to the 900 block of H Street shortly thereafter.
The Jam had just concluded its Whomp Whomp Wednesday, an evening of DJ music and dancing.
“Investigators have learned the stabbing occurred during a dispute between the suspect and the victim, who were known to each other,” states a press release from APD.
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 last Thursday.
Ciotti said that the victim was apparently stabbed on the street in front of The Jam. The victim then walked to the corner of H and Ninth streets, and fell at the Ninth Street side of 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 said the victim had been a regular at The Jam for the last few months.
“The guy who died... he was in here having a good ol‘ 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 watch 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.
Thursday 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 ownerwouldn’t have to do it herself.