Sketches of suspects in stabbing of French train hero released

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2015 7:27 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - Police in Sacramento on Saturday released sketches of suspects believed to have been involved this month in the stabbing of U.S. Air Force airman Spencer Stone, one of the Americans who thwarted an August train attack in France.

The two composite sketches are based on eyewitness accounts of the Oct. 8 assault in the Northern California city, where Stone was stabbed several times during a fight outside a bar, police said.

Police have said the altercation began outside a bar in the California capital's midtown district, a gentrifying area with many popular clubs, restaurants and art galleries that retains some rough edges.

Investigators said they believe the male suspects were wearing white shirts and blue jeans. The sketches released by police showed one of the men had a goatee and spiked hair.

Police have not disclosed what caused the fight that led to "significant injuries" to Stone, who was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He was released on Thursday.

Authorities have said the fight was not related to Stone's role in subduing a gunman on an Amsterdam-to-Paris train in August. Stone's assailants are not believed to have known Stone's identity, police said.

Stone and two friends, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, who is part of the Oregon Army National Guard, took down a man armed with a box-cutter, a pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle on the high-speed train. They received accolades for their actions from the presidents of France and the United States.

The three men, who grew up in the Sacramento area, were touring Europe at the time of the train incident, partly to celebrate Skarlatos' return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Paul Simao)