Tucson man stabbed; police believe incident was drug related

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Graham County Sheriff’s Office investigated a case in which a man was stabbed in both arms. 

By Jon Johnson


GRAHAM COUNTY – Authorities handled an odd case the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 28, after receiving a call from a man who said he had been stabbed.

Deputies and paramedics were dispatched at about 9:47 p.m. to the are of N. Paul’s Lane and W. Norton Road after County Dispatch plotted the call coming from that intersection. Upon arrival, however, the injured man could not be found nor was there any evidence that a crime had occurred.

After a failed search for the subject, including checking the surrounding fields with FLIR (thermal imaging infrared night vision) equipment, units cleared the call while one deputy remained and continued to patrol the area.

At about 10:35 p.m. a woman waived down another deputy and said she had nearly hit a shirtless man who was running in and out of traffic near The Gila Valley Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Deputies responded to the area near the Temple and located a man lying on the ground covered in mud and blood. The man was bleeding from both forearms and was lying on the ground that was covered with large thorns that he didn’t seem to feel, according to the deputy’s report.

While waiting for paramedics to arrive, the deputy questioned the man regarding how he was stabbed in both arms and he said he was in town to visit his girlfriend and was jumped by three men who demanded his shoes. The man refused to inform deputies to who his girlfriend was and instead the men attacked him because they thought he was putting up a gang sign and they wanted his “stuff.” When asked what he meant by his “stuff”, the man became nervous and recanted his statement and said nothing had been taken. When asked if the incident was over narcotics, the man said no and advised he didn’t want to pursue charges against his attackers. According to the Sheriff’s Office report, a Pima officer said the man had described a completely different set of events to him as to how he became injured. 

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The man was found lying in the dirt near The Gila Valley Arizona Temple and was covered in mud and blood.

After being transported to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center and receiving treatment, the officer again asked the man who attacked him and this time he said it was two bearded Hispanic men with shaved heads. When the deputy told the man he believed the man was lying, the man shrugged and did not deny it.

Due to the man not wishing to pursue criminal charges, the case was closed and no further action was taken.