US airman who thwarted French train attack stabbed

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, celebrated as a hero for helping to stop a terror attack on a French train over the summer, was stabbed and seriously wounded outside a bar in his hometown early Thursday in what police said was an alcohol-related brawl.

Stone, 23, was knifed repeatedly in the upper body but was expected to survive, authorities said. He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center.

“This incident is not related to terrorism in any way,” Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard said. “We know it’s not related to what occurred in France months ago.”

A grainy surveillance video from a camera outside a liquor store showed a man who appeared to be Stone fighting with several people at an intersection. The group spilled into the street as people took swings at each other, and one person got knocked down.

Police said two assailants fled in a car. No immediate arrests were made.

Bernard said Stone was out with four friends when they got into a fight with another group of people. The deputy chief would not say what sparked the argument. He said there was no evidence the assailants knew who Stone was.

Bernard said he did not know whether Stone was drinking, but others in his group were.

In a statement, the hospital said Stone’s family “appreciates the outpouring of love and support” and requests privacy.

In August, Stone and two of his childhood friends from Sacramento, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler, were vacationing in Europe when they sprang into action aboard a Paris-bound passenger train and tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani, a man with ties to radical Islam. He had boarded the train with a Kalashnikov rifle, a pistol and a box cutter.

Stone, who is assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California, suffered a severely cut thumb and a knife wound to his neck during the struggle with the gunman.

President Barack Obama met with the three Americans last month, praising them for their quick thinking and courage and calling them “the very best of America.” They were also awarded France’s highest honor by President Francois Hollande.

The three appeared on late-night talk shows and received a parade in their hometown.

Stone is the second of the three Americans to be shaken by violence at home since their return.

Last week, Skarlatos left rehearsals for TV’s “Dancing With the Stars” to rush back to his hometown of Roseburg, Oregon, after a gunman killed nine people at the community college that Skarlatos attends.

“It’s honestly the strangest emotion I ever felt,” Skarlatos said in a taped segment that aired on the show Monday. “Even the train made more sense than this does. … There’s nothing you can do.”

The stabbing happened in a busy area of central Sacramento ringed with bars and restaurants that is a popular nightlife destination for young adults and is generally considered safe.

Skarlatos tweeted Thursday: “Everybody send prayers out to the Stone family today.”

_____

Associated Press writer Juliet Williams in Sacramento contributed to this report. Watson contributed from San Diego.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

Most Read