Bloody Sylvester Park fight hospitalizes 2 for stab wounds

Staff writerJuly 16, 2013 

A chaotic fight in downtown Olympia after 4 p.m. Tuesday left the sidewalks stained with blood and two men in area hospitals with stab wounds — including one who was in serious condition Tuesday night, according to police.

“We’re still trying to sort it all it out,” WSP spokesman Sgt. Jason HIcks said. “The investigation is still new, and it’s an evolving situation. As we get more details, those will be given out.”

According to onlookers and police, the fight started about 4:10 p.m., when a man got into an altercation with a group of people who were near the gazebo in Sylvester Park. The man stabbed one of the members of the group, Hicks said.

Witnesses said that the man was then chased by the group to an Olympia Intercity Transit bus that was parked at a stop at Capitol Way and Legion Way.

The group prevented the bus from leaving the stop by standing in front of it, witnesses said, and the man was unable to get on. At some point, the man who could not get on the bus also was stabbed, Hicks said. It was unclear Tuesday whether he was stabbed by the first stabbing victim from the park another suspect, Hicks said.

The man who was stabbed in Sylvester Park fled to the train tunnel adjacent to the Governor Hotel. He was taken to an area hospital and was in serious condition Tuesday evening, Olympia police said.

Lisa Cosmillo, owner of Breathe, a yoga center located near the bus stop on Capitol Way, said she saw a man being savagely beaten on the sidewalk outside her shop by a group of 10 or 11 people. It appeared that the man had also been stabbed, Cosmillo said.

As Olympia police placed the bus stop stabbing victim in handcuffs, an employee of Breathe cleaned blood off a sign that had been knocked down onto the sidewalk. The man in handcuffs appeared to have been stabbed in the back, and he was placed on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.

By 5:30 p.m., Olympia police were combing Sylvester Park, interviewing witnesses and trying to determine what had happened. Later, jurisdiction of the investigation was transferred to the Washington State Patrol after detectives determined the initial stabbing occurred in the park. The WSP is in charge of law enforcement of the park.

Later Tuesday evening, Hicks said it was unclear whether there was a third suspect still at large. There were also unconfirmed reports of a third stab wound victim who may have fled the scene, he said.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445

jpawloski@theolympian.com

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