Police: Four injured, three stabbed in bartime fight

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Saturday, December 31, 2011
— A Janesville man stabbed more than once during a melee in downtown Janesville early Friday morning was listed in fair condition Friday at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center.

Three other Janesville men in their 20s were treated and released for injuries in the same fight.

No arrest had been made as of Friday afternoon, and police did not have a name of a suspect.

The investigation was hampered by the intoxication of witnesses, Lt. Tim Hiers said.

“Some people just can’t recall the events,” Hiers said. “Some stories are just the opposite of others.”

For that reason, police were not sure Friday what started the fight. Police do not believe gangs were involved, Hiers said.

Investigators were trying to find consistencies among the stories and would review surveillance video, Hiers said.

Officers were dispatched at 1:52 a.m. They reported finding about 15 people at the scene of the fight at 16 N. Parker Drive.

A 22-year-old man suffered more than one stab wound to the torso. He was in intensive care but did not require surgery, and the wounds were not considered life-threatening, Hiers said. Police had not been able to interview him because of his condition.

The other three injured were also Janesville men in their 20s. One had a cut on the neck and another was cut in the arm, police said. The fourth man apparently hit his head against the building’s brick wall.

One of those stabbed did not immediately realize he was cut. He later drove himself to the hospital, police said.

The fight took place on a concrete patio attached to the Carriage Works Building, next to the city parking lot, across the street from the parking ramp.

Two groups of people who had been at two downtown bars were involved, but the fight did not appear to have started in a bar, Hiers said.

Some witnesses told police they saw people trying to break up the fight and saw arms flailing and punches being thrown, but none of the 21 people interviewed as of late Friday morning could remember seeing a weapon, Hiers said.

The wounds were from an edged weapon and are consistent with knife wounds, Hiers said.

Police recovered a small folding knife at the scene but could not say whether it was the weapon that inflicted the injuries.

Investigators believed, at least preliminarily, that one man inflicted the knife wounds, “but who had the knife, nobody can say,” Hiers said. “Even the people who had gotten stabbed or cut can’t say.”

Hiers asked that anyone with information contact police.

To help

Anyone with information about the stabbings on North Parker Drive in downtown Janesville on Friday morning can call police at (608) 755-3100 or Janesville Area CrimeStoppers at (608) 756-3636.

Callers to CrimeStoppers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward.

Last updated: 7:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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