Stabbing victim gave ‘a very short statement’ to officers, Arcata police chief says

Suspect at large in homicide; police seeking surveillance video

Arcata Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that left a man dead early Thursday morning in Arcata. The incident happened next to the Plaza and police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward. (Shaun Walker — the Times-Standard)
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The Arcata Police Department is investigating a fatal stabbing that left an unidentified man dead in Arcata early Thursday morning.

It was just after 1:30 a.m. when Arcata Police were called to the intersection of Ninth and H streets in Arcata on a report of a stabbing. According to an APD news release, officers found the victim lying in the street and immediately began life-saving efforts as Arcata Fire and an ambulance crew were dispatched as well.

“We tried to get him treated and to the hospital as quickly as we could,” said Arcata Police Chief Rick Ehle on Thursday. “He was still alive and somewhat lucid and we did get a very short statement, he was talking.”

The unidentified victim, described only as a white male adult in his 20s, later died as a result of his wounds at Mad River Community Hospital and the search for the suspect is underway.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Native-American male, 5 feet 7 inches wearing a blue t-shirt and a gray hoodie; detectives have contacted surrounding businesses to see if any surveillance footage is available.

“It was another late night incident, Jambalaya had a pretty good crowd and we don’t even have a motive other than speculation,” Ehle added. “We know it was a stabbing instrument although no weapon was found at the scene and right now we’re doing the preliminary investigation.”

Ehle said they initially thought they may have gotten solid information as to the identity of the victim but they later learned that information was incorrect.

“The coroner is doing their job and working for further verification on the identity of the victim but as of now we don’t have a name, we don’t have a date of birth, all we have is a white male in his 20s,” Ehle said.

According to Samantha Karges, spokesperson with the sheriff’s office, the coroner has identified the victim and the identity will be made public at some point Friday.

Ehle said an autopsy has been scheduled for later this week.

“We are following up with local businesses, there are a lot of cameras in that area and we want to contact any additional witnesses,” Ehle added. “There were some bouncers who were involved in an incident and, hopefully, that will lead to information or evidence relative to the case. Right now, we’re highly dependent on the public for anyone who may have seen something.”

Pete Ciotti, owner of Jambalaya, said that some of his employees were interviewed by police following the incident but “nothing happened inside Jambalaya and, so far, we haven’t come up with any witnesses who may have seen something.”

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to contact the Arcata Police Department at 707-822-2428.

Dan Squier can be reached at 707-441-0528.

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