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MailTribune.com
  • Alleged assailant arrested in Sunday morning stabbing

    Police say quick action by a Medford police officer likely saved the victim's life
  • A Central Point man was arrested late Tuesday for allegedly stabbing a 28-year-old man several times during an early Sunday morning fight in downtown Medford, police said.
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  • A Central Point man was arrested late Tuesday for allegedly stabbing a 28-year-old man several times during an early Sunday morning fight in downtown Medford, police said.
    Had it not been for the quick response of a Medford police officer, suspect Aaron Riley Westensee, 25, of the 500 block of Primrose Street, could be facing a charge of murder instead of attempted murder and attempted first-degree assault, said MPD Lt. Mike Budreau.
    Officer Chris Moore was the first to arrive at the incident reported at 2:06 a.m. Sunday at the corner of North Front and Fifth streets, Budreau said, and had it not been for the medical treatment he provided at the scene the victim might have died.
    There were more stab wounds than Moore had hands, so he called over onlookers to help apply pressure to the victim's wounds, Budreau said.
    Before joining the police force, Moore worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the Jacksonville Fire Department, Budreau said.
    Moore was carrying a medical kit in his cruiser and used its clotting bandages to help stop the victim's bleeding, Budreau said.
    "It's uncommon to have a Medford police officer with that type of medical background," Budreau said. "Had he not been there, it absolutely could have been fatal. We have seen very similar stab wounds that resulted in fatalities in the past."
    The 28-year-old victim was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He underwent emergency surgery and is expected to live, but he remains hospitalized, Budreau said.
    Westensee was taken into custody on a warrant when Medford SWAT team members and detectives entered his apartment at about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, Police seized evidence from the apartment, but the weapon used in the stabbing has not been confirmed, Budreau said.
    Westensee is lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $2 million bail, jail records show.
    Budreau said Westensee and two friends came upon the victim and four of his friends and the men began yelling at each other.
    Police believe alcohol and a long-term feud between several of the men led to the yelling match, Budreau said.
    "They were relatively minor issues in the past that involved a couple of fist fights," Budreau said. "There has been nothing in their history that would warrant any type of attack like we saw on Sunday morning."
    During the verbal exchange, Westensee pulled a knife on the group and when the 28-year-old man ran, Westensee chased and stabbed him three times in the torso and multiple times in the arms before fleeing with his companions, Budreau said.
    "I don't think anybody thought anyone was going to be stabbed," Budreau said.
    All eight of the men involved in the incident have been identified by detectives, but no one else has been arrested, Budreau said.
    Their names have not been released.
    Westensee has no criminal history in Jackson County, Oregon Judicial Department record show.
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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