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Bar Brawl Results in Near Fatality

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Victim Stabbed in the Neck

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – An early morning bar brawl on Saturday, June 8 very nearly took the life of one man and sent another man to jail with a second degree felony.

Juan Martinez, 37 years-of-age with a Crockett residence, was booked into custody Wednesday, June 12 on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from an incident which occurred on June 8.

An affidavit of probable cause indicated officers with the Crockett Police Department were dispatched to Wild Bill’s Sports Bar/Fowler’s – located at 2003 Goliad Ave – at approximately 2:30 am on June 8 in reference to male subject being stabbed in the neck.

“Upon arriving on scene, officers found the victim lying on the ground covered in a large amount of blood. It was apparent that the victim’s neck had been cut and officers summoned medical personnel to the scene. The victim, along with other witnesses, was able to identify the suspect in the stabbing. That suspect was identified as Juan Martinez,” Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith stated in a press release.

According to the affidavit, at approximately 3:20 am, Martinez called the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and said he would like officers to come to his residence at 1009 Kentucky St. so that he might speak with them about the incident which had occurred at Fowler’s.

CPD officers arrived at the Martinez residence just after 4 am and after identifying himself, Martinez was Mirandized.

Martinez was asked what happened as everyone was leaving the bar. He indicated that when he walked outside a fight was already occurring but he didn’t know who was fighting.

He explained he was trying to break up the fight when another individual shoved one of his friends. When Martinez confronted the other individual, the affidavit indicated, the two men began fighting.

“Martinez then stated that he began to make his way to his car after the fight with (the other individual). While standing at this car, Martinez stated (the stabbing victim) then walked up to him from around the corner with his hand on his neck, with blood coming down his shirt, stating, ‘You cut me. You cut me,’ indicating that he was talking about Martinez,” the report stated.

He went on to say he left the scene immediately afterwards but “… heard from multiple people that he was the one who had cut (the victim). I (CPD Sgt. Andrew Allen) asked him if he knew who (the victim) was and he stated that he did not. I then stated to Martinez that when I showed up multiple people were saying that he was the suspect to which he responded, ‘Yeah, that’s what I heard,’” the affidavit stated.

As the investigation continued, the legal document stated CPD Officer Chelsea Stafford interviewed the individual Martinez was fighting with.

“(The individual) stated that he and Martinez had gotten into an argument in the parking lot of Fowler’s, after they had closed. He stated that Martinez then punched him and that they began to fight. (The individual) said that they separated and he thought the fight was over. Martinez then walked back over to him and stated ‘Let’s go again,’” the affidavit reported.

A second individual approached Martinez and told him to leave the first individual alone, the legal document stated.

“Martinez then hit (the second individual) in the arm but after he hit him, (the second individual) began to yell, ‘He has a knife and he cut me,’ that’s when (the first individual) looked at (the second individual’s) arm and noticed a large laceration and then looked back at Martinez and observed a knife in his hand,” the affidavit stated.

In his press release, the police chief reported there was a third victim who “… was identified but was assaulted by a different suspect who fled the scene prior to officers arriving. That victim suffered a fractured jaw along with other minor injuries. Officers are still investigating that incident and have identified a suspect in that assault.”

On Wednesday, June 12, Sgt. Allen spoke to the victim stabbed in the neck. He stated when he walked outside after the bar had closed, he observed a fight occurring between Martinez and the first individual. He further stated after the fight broke up, he heard Martinez say he wanted to go at it again and then hit the second individual who was trying to stop the fight.

“(The stabbing victim) then remembered Martinez looking at him and making a statement, but he was unsure of what Martinez said to him. (The victim) then stated that Martinez hit him in his mouth with his right hand, and in his left hand, he had a knife and stabbed him on his right arm above the elbow on his bicep. During the struggle, he does not remember being cut on his throat until his friend started yelling about (the victim’s) neck. When (the victim) looked down, he saw blood all over his shirt. After that, he remembers walking and laying down on the ground,” the affidavit stated.

Later, on the afternoon of June 12, Martinez turned himself in to the Crockett Police Department. He was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony.

According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

His bond was set at $20,000. Martinez posted the bond and was released pending further legal proceedings.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.