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Slasher arrested

A Port Orchard man is being held for attempted murder after cutting another man’s throat with a foot-long knife around 3:30 last Tuesday afternoon.

Marvin Fitzgerald, 42, was arrested Tuesday night following a brief search of the area surrounding Garrison Avenue in Port Orchard, where the crime allegedly occurred. The 23-year-old victim was transported to Harrison Hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries.

According to police, Fitzgerald and the victim were both transients who had been seen getting into a physical fight a week or two previously in front of Forest Park Grocery, located in South Kitsap. The victim allegedly won the fight, whereupon Fitzgerald told him not to come near him in the future.

At the time of the crime, the victim was visiting a friend in a rental on Garrison Avenue. The friend, who was present at the time of the crime, said the victim was watching TV and having a beer with him when Fitzgerald walked in.

The witness said Fitzgerald had been staying with him unbeknownst to the victim, and allegedly became enraged when he saw the victim there.

According to the police report, Fitzgerald asked the victim what he was doing there and, when the victim could not give a satisfactory response, Fitzgerald jumped on him. Without another word, he allegedly yanked back the victim’s head by the hair and used a large knife to cut across his throat.

“There was basically no other conversation,” said Sgt. Mark Duncan of the Port Orchard Police Department.

The victim apparently tried to protect his throat with his hands — Duncan said he had lacerations all over the back of both hands, some of which may require surgery to repair. The victim, who remained conscious, then allegedly started fighting Fitzgerald, punching him in the face until Fitzgerald dropped the knife and ran off.

Duncan said Fitzgerald, when he was arrested, had facial injuries and a slash mark across one hand which would indicate a struggle.

The victim went to a nearby house for help, and a neighbor woman called 911. When police arrived, the victim was alert and holding a piece of cloth to his neck in an effort to stop the bleeding.

Officers tracked Fitzgerald to an empty house two blocks away, where he surrendered.

Fitzgerald was booked for first-degree assault and attempted murder. He was also booked on two unrelated outstanding warrants — a felony warrant for methamphetamine possession and a misdemeanor warrant for theft. His bail was set at $225,000.

The victim was released immediately after being treated. Duncan said the lacerations were not very deep and the knife had not hit any vital organs.

“He’s going to survive,” Duncan said.

Police are not yet sure what knife was used to commit the alleged crime. The resident of the house on Garrison said Fitzgerald had two large knives — a 10-inch butcher-style boning knife and a 12-inch cake-type knife. Duncan said initial reports indicate the cake knife was used, although both were taken in as evidence.

“(The cake knife is) very effective for slashing wounds,” Duncan said.

Fitzgerald had a preliminary appearance before the court on Wednesday, but the Prosecutor’s Office opted to wait until yesterday to formally charge him.

“We’re going to charge him with something but we’re not sure what yet,” Deputy Prosecutor Chris Casad said Thursday night. “We’re getting more information.”

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