A man stabbed in the head multiple times during a fight early Wednesday had brandished a pistol and was trying to draw a second gun when the other man pulled out his pocketknife, police said.
No charges have not been filed against either man involved in the 12:45 a.m. fight in a parking lot at the corner of East Moulton Street and First Avenue Southeast.
Scott Dutton, 30, of Decatur was listed in fair condition at Huntsville Hospital following the stabbing. He was being treated in the surgical intensive care unit, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Dutton is the owner of Downtown Dawgs on East Moulton Street. The parking lot was beside The Brick Deli & Tavern and across the street from Dutton’s business.
Investigators said Dutton brandished a pistol and taunted Jared McCulloh, 30, of Decatur, and used his pickup to block the vehicle in which McCulloh and a woman were trying to leave. He physically attacked McCulloh and a fight ensued, investigators said.
“At this point, we don’t anticipate filing charges,” said Detective Michael Burleson. “What we will probably do is prepare a report and run it through a grand jury and let them decide, but from what we can tell right now, this was self-defense.”
McCulloh suffered minor injuries in the fight. He was taken to Decatur Morgan Hospital Parkway Campus by private vehicle for treatment of a cut on his hand, police Lt. Chris Jones said.
The woman was identified by witnesses as a former girlfriend of Dutton’s. Police said Dutton had accosted McCulloh and the woman inside the bar shortly before the incident.
Dutton and McCulloh “were shaking hands and wanting to buy each other a drink in here,” Brick co-owner Tina Hall said.
“We knew the situation with them being ex-boyfriend and girlfriend and we were on top of it. We didn’t let anything happen. We don’t want to put our patrons in any danger, but we can’t control what people do after they leave this building,” she said.
Hall said she called 911 as soon as she saw Dutton standing across the street with a gun he apparently pulled from an ankle holster.
“They (McCulloh and the woman) ran to his truck to get away when they saw he had a gun. When they did that, he (Dutton) took his bumper and ran it all the way up against their bumper and had them trapped there in the parking space,” Hall said.
The dispute turned physical in about a minute, Hall said.
“There was no intervening. ... There wasn’t anything that anybody could have done to stop it,” she said. “I looked over my shoulder and I heard sirens and saw a police car coming by me and when I turned back around, Jared was already on top of him. I thought he was just hitting him, I didn’t find out until the police and the EMTs got there that he wasn’t hitting him — he was stabbing him.”
Burleson said Dutton was trying to take a second pistol from his pocket when McCulloh was able to get his pocketknife and stabbed Dutton several times.
Emergency personnel arrived to find Dutton lying in the parking lot and bleeding severely. He was rushed to Decatur Morgan Hospital Decatur General Campus by ambulance and then taken by MedFlight to Huntsville Hospital.
Hall said she was shocked and saddened by the incident.
“I know Scott. I know his family. He owns a business next to us. It just breaks our heart. It’s awful,” she said.
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