Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Bloody man shows up at Sheriff's Office seeking aid

Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, a man covered in blood rushed into the lobby of the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office saying he had just escaped from two men after being slashed multiple times, officials said.

Soon after, Jeremiah J. Long, 35, and Joel K. Stephenson, 46, both of Crescent City, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The victim had been lured by a friend to a house on Humboldt Street near Cooper Avenue where there was another man waiting who started attacking and slashing the victim; the attackers said they were going to kill him, according to sheriff's Commander Bill Steven.

"He's basically in this fight for his life, as (the victim) calls it, with these two guys and he's able to get the knife away," Steven said, adding that one of the attackers blocked his escape, according to the victim's story. The victim was able to inflict a few knife wounds on the attackers before they overpowered him and choked him out, Steven said.

When the victim came to, they let him go, but kept his wallet, and said if he didn't return with money, they would finish the job, Steven said.

The victim, instead of grabbing money, rushed to the Sheriff's Office to file a report. Deputies drove to a Humboldt Street house to confront the alleged attackers who were uncooperative, Steven said.

Long and Stephenson acknowledged that the victim had been at the Humboldt Street house, but they said that if he had any injuries, he must have done it to himself, Steven said.

The deputies noticed the house in disarray with items strewn about and blood spatters on the men's clothing, which Long and Stephenson denied was blood spatter, Steven said. After searching the men, deputies found a knife that matched the description given by the victim, Steven said.

They also had minor cuts, Steven said.

"Here they are with blood on their clothing and one has a knife in his pocket that was identified by the victim as the weapon that was used," Steven said.

Long and Stephenson were booked into the Del Norte County Jail at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, less than two hours after the victim reported the crime in the sheriff's lobby.

An ambulance was called for the victim, but he refused treatment against medical advice, Steven said.

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