US airman's condition upgraded as he recovers from stabbing

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 9:35 PM
US airman's condition upgraded as he recovers from stabbing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. airman hailed as a hero for helping thwart a European terror attack was upgraded from serious to fair condition Friday as he recovered from three stab wounds suffered in a late-night attack near a bar, UC Davis Medical Center officials said Friday, indicating that his vital signs are stable and normal and he is conscious.

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23, "is awake, able to get out of bed and in good spirits," the hospital said in a statement.

Police were continuing to sort through conflicting accounts of what happened and have made no arrests, Sacramento Police Sgt. Doug Morse said.

He said police interviewed a 24-year-old woman who was also hurt in the fight and was treated at a hospital for abrasions. Morse said the woman was with Stone and three others when they became involved in a brawl with another group in the Sacramento nightclub district.

"We're really hoping that additional witnesses or anyone involved comes forward," Morse said. "Right now detectives are working around the clock to clarify all that stuff. It would be way too premature to discuss what witnesses saw."

Police said Stone was out with three women and another man before the fight early Thursday. A grainy surveillance video from outside a liquor store shows a large man who appears to be Stone fighting against a half-dozen people at an intersection.

A second video released by police appears to show a woman who was not with Stone's group and two men fleeing in a vehicle after the altercation.

Patrons in a nearby nightclub had applauded Stone an hour or so before the stabbing after a companion told staff he was there, said T.J. Bruce., the owner of Badlands nightclub.

Bruce said club employees told him Stone's group lingered in the club and just outside, but there was no confrontation in the club or immediately outside. He said security guards outside the bar never saw the fight that broke out half a block away.

Police collected surveillance video from the club, he said.

Stone, who is assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California, suffered a severely cut thumb and a knife wound to his neck in August when he and two childhood friends from Sacramento stopped a terror attack aboard a Paris-bound passenger train.

Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler were vacationing in Europe when they tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani, a man with ties to radical Islam who had boarded the train with a Kalashnikov rifle, pistol and box cutter.

Sacramento police said there is no connection between the Sacramento fight and the attack in France. Police have not said what started the argument but said there was no evidence the assailants knew who Stone was.