By Michael R. Moser
A series of fights at a local night spot escalated to serious injury early Sunday morning when the owner of the bar suffered stab wounds, Crossville Police reported.
The victim was identified as W.T. Lawson Jr., 41, of Sparta Hwy. He suffered stab wounds to the left side of his neck, left forearm and two to his back, according to Ptl. John Karlsven's report.
Louis Stewart Altes, 40, 115 Harper Lane, was arrested on a charge of felony aggravated assault.
Police and an ambulance were dispatched to Lawson's Bottoms Up Bar on Hwy. 70 W on a report of a fight in progress and arrived in time to see people exiting the building, holding the suspect.
Prior to the stabbing, according to the police incident report, a fight was staged on a rear patio between two consenting males. "That fight was allowed to take place to determine who was the better fighter ...," the report stated.
After that fight, some harassment of one of the combatants allegedly occurred, leading to a second fight that took place in the parking lot in front of the bar. That fight involved three persons fighting one, Karlsven wrote.
Reportedly, Altes went outside and attempted to break up the fight because the one being attacked was his friend. Police wrote that Lawson struck Altes as he, too, attempted to break up the fight and remove people from his property.
Moments later the two men became involved in a confrontation inside the bar, at which time the stabbing took place. Police found Altes with a cut on his finger, and recovered a pocket knife from the bed of his pickup truck.
Altes was taken to Cumberland Medical Center for treatment of injuries to his hand, and later arrested.
Lawson was taken by ambulance to CMC and later transferred to a regional trauma center. He has since been released from the hospital.
Investigating the incident were Dets. Elizabeth Henshaw and Mark Rosser.