EPD: Eureka stab victims decline to prosecute suspect, investigation suspended

The following is a press release issued by the Eureka Police Department today:

Upon investigation, the Eureka Police Department has learned that Thomas Frank and Ruth Wortman were trespassing in the California apartments. The abandoned apartment they were squatting in was in the process of being renovated and had been secured with plywood and screws. The screws had been removed or pulled from the wall and access was made. The two slept on a mattress in the closet.

At about 5:00 a.m., a small statured man entered the apartment. The male leaned into the closet over Wortman and ambushed Frank, stabbing him repeatedly. There was no warning or provocation. Wortman kicked at the suspect and was stabbed above the knee. She crawled out of the closet to escape the fracas between Frank and his attacker. Frank fought back, and the battle moved into the main room. The two continued fighting. Frank did not have a weapon and the suspect had a small knife. Wortman grabbed a 6-foot long piece of one inch by four inch lumber and hit the suspect in the head. This ended the close quarter battle. The suspect fled. The suspect is described as a white male, small in stature, 26 years old, with close cut blond hair and the letters "CWB" in large letters tattooed on his neck.

Frank suffered 15 knife wounds that required surgical procedures and several other superficial knife wounds. The wounds were to the head, back chest and shoulders. Frank, who knows his assailant, has declined to prosecute or otherwise assist with the investigation. Likewise Wortman.

Frank and his attacker are known local gang members from different gangs. Despite this fact, it is not believed this attack was related to any frictions between the two gangs. EPD investigators believe this was a crime of passion based on a personal issue. EPD investigators are classifying this crime as an attempted murder but are suspending their investigation because of lack of cooperation from the victims.

--- Original News Release dated June 20, 2014 ---

On 06/20/14 at approximately 5:03 a.m., officers responded to a possible stabbing at an apartment building on the 2900 block of California Street. Upon arrival, officers found a male and a female with stab wounds outside the apartment building. Both victims were transported to St. Joseph's Hospital and are in stable condition. The male victim is Thomas Frank, 36 of Eureka and the female victim is Ruth Wortman, 28 of Fortuna. Investigators are looking into whether this was gang motivated.

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