Cloquet man held after bar fight, stabbing
A 29-year-old man in custody for allegedly stabbing a friend Monday night outside a Cloquet bar claims he acted in self defense. And the black eye, bruises and scrapes he sported when officers arrested him Tuesday morning is bolstering those claims.
A 29-year-old man in custody for allegedly stabbing a friend Monday night outside a Cloquet bar claims he acted in self defense.
And the black eye, bruises and scrapes he sported when officers arrested him Tuesday morning is bolstering those claims.
"From what I observed, it appears there was a fight," Cloquet police Detective Darrin Berg said. "He also took some lumps on this deal."
The victim, James J. Westerberg, 24, of Cloquet was stabbed once but not seriously injured after apparent name-calling escalated into violence.
Police were called to the area of Ninth Street and Cloquet Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. Monday on a possible stabbing outside Mike's Cloquet Bar & Lounge. By the time officers arrived, both victim and suspect had left the scene, but not together.
Westerberg was found a half-hour later at Community Memorial Hospital, where he was being treated for a knife wound on the left side of his abdomen, Berg said.
"It was a fairly significant wound, over an inch deep," Berg said. "The victim's lucky it didn't hit any organs."
Information from witnesses led police to the suspect, who was known to them for felony drug offenses. The suspect agreed to turn himself in. When officers arrived at his Cloquet home Tuesday for his surrender, they saw the bruises and cuts.
"His eye was completely black," Berg said. "He had bruises and cuts on both arms and legs. He claims he was attacked by numerous people when he went outside to have a smoke."
The suspect is being held in Carlton County Jail on a likely second-degree assault charge.