SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2015) — Just weeks ago, U.S. Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone was tending to stab wounds after famously helping thwart a gun attack on a European train, feted internationally as a hero.
On Thursday he was in serious condition at a California hospital, having been stabbed again — this time during a night out with friends in an altercation for which he faces no criminal accusations, officials say.
Surveillance video shows 30 seconds of high drama and raw violence in midtown Sacramento before 1 a.m. Thursday.
What starts with a few punches thrown on a dark street corner quickly spills into the street. Five or six people are in the middle of it all pushing, shoving and trading blows.
One man falls to the ground at one point, only to quickly bounce back. Eventually, the two sparring sides go their separate ways.
Stone was one of those who walked away. But he did so with multiple stab wounds, Sacramento Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard told reporters.
Bernard singled out two males who allegedly had a part in wounding Stone, who had been visiting bars in the area with four friends.
Police: Stone’s injuries not life-threatening
Stone was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with what Bernard called significant, but apparently non-life-theatening, stab wounds.
Stationed at nearby Travis Air Force Base, Stone remained in serious condition Thursday afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery, the hospital said.
“The family of Airman Spencer Stone appreciates the outpouring of love and support,” UC Davis Health Systems said.
Bernard declined to detail what led to the stabbing. He said police don’t believe it had anything to do with Stone’s celebrity, and a conversation between Stone’s group — a male friend and three female friends — and another group somewhere in midtown led to the assault “down the block.”
Sacramento police said detectives re-interviewed a 24-year old woman Thursday afternoon who was at the fight and suffered minor injuries. She was treated at a hospital and released.
“At this point we have no reason to believe Mr. Stone is in any kind of (legal) trouble,” Bernard said.
The assailants fled. Police said they’re looking for two Asian males who were wearing blue jeans and white T-shirts, and left in what’s believed to be a dark gray or black 2009-2012 Toyota Camry.
Bernard said he didn’t know whether Stone had been drinking, though others in his party had been.
He added that the case is still under investigation.
Stone was one of five men who officials say stopped a gunman from attacking passengers of an Amsterdam-to-Paris train in August.
Stone rushed the gunman and was slashed several times with a box cutter in the process, almost severing this thumb, officials said.
He also tended to one of his fellow heroes, French-American Mark Moogalian. The latter was shot while confronting the gunman, and Stone, after the gunman was subdued, was credited with helping stop Moogalian’s bleeding.
All five were celebrated. Stone, Moogalian and the other three — Briton Chris Norman and Stone’s two American friends, Anthony Sadler and Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos — received France’s highest recognition, the Legion of Honor.
Skarlatos parlayed his fame to a spot on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC.
He took to Twitter Thursday to ask for prayers for his friend.
“Everybody send prayers out to the Stone family today,” his tweet reads.
The suspect in the train assault, Ayoub El Khazzani, 25, of Morocco, was charged in France with attempted murder, attempted mass murder and membership in a terrorist organization. He is accused of intending to kill the train’s passengers.