SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A 28-year-old man was arrested in the stabbing of a U.S. airman hailed as a hero for helping thwart a European terror attack, police in California’s capital said Wednesday.
Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone was knifed three times in the torso on Oct. 8 in a fight near a bar in Sacramento, shortly after nightclub patrons applauded the 23-year-old for his role in tackling a gunman with ties to radical Islam on a Paris-bound passenger train in August.
James Tran of unincorporated Sacramento County was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, police Chief Sam Somers Jr. said at a news conference. A number of others were questioned in the attack but none has been arrested, he said. Police would not say how many others were questioned.
Investigators have said the assault had nothing to do with the European terror plot and involved an alcohol-fueled fight between two groups in a popular nightclub district. They have not said what led to the argument but that there is no indication the assailants knew who Stone was.
Stone was with three women and another man when other clubgoers praised him at Badlands, a nightclub in Sacramento’s Midtown district. Grainy surveillance video from outside a liquor store about an hour later shows a large man who appears to be Stone fighting a half dozen people at an intersection down the street.
A separate video released by police showed two men and a woman fleeing in a vehicle, which has been recovered, Somers said Wednesday.
Stone underwent about two hours of surgery for what UC Davis Medical Center officials said were potentially life-threatening wounds. A 24-year-old woman who was with Stone was treated at a hospital for abrasions.
In August, Stone suffered a knife wound to the neck and a severely cut thumb when he and two childhood friends from Sacramento stopped the attempted terror attack. Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler were vacationing in Europe when they tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani, who was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle, pistol and box cutter.
Stone is assigned to Travis Air Force Base, about 50 miles southwest of the state capital.