Neighbors: Hamilton fight could have been over stolen property

HAMILTON, Ind. (WANE) – A man was critically hurt when his neck was “severely cut” during an altercation in Hamilton Wednesday evening, according to Indiana State Police. Hamilton is a small town that spans the Steuben-DeKalb County line.

A large crime scene is surrounded by police tape at Church and Water Streets in Angola on July 19, 2017.

Investigators said sometime around 7:30 p.m. a group of people in the area of Church Street and Water Street had an altercation. According to Sgt. Ron Galaviz with the Indiana State Police, a 50-year-old man suffered a “severe cut” to his neck. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Police have not released the victim’s name yet. They also said while two people were questioned, they were released and no arrests have been made yet.

Police did not say what the fight was about, but the people who live across the street and saw it happen said they were told it was over possible stolen property.

Dan and Roberta Hein have lived in their home for 22 years. They saw the fight starting to happen and called police.

“I saw pushing and shoving behind the car and then around the house,” Dan said.

Roberta said she saw one man waving a knife in the air.

“It was just a long knife, from a distance, that’s all I could see. It was shiny. Silver,” she said. “It was freaky and I was calling the police, I didn’t care if no one gets hurt, the cops are still going to show up.”

While she was on the phone with 911, a man started walking into her yard, bleeding from his neck.

Dan and Roberta Hein helped the man who was cut in his neck during a fight in Hamilton Wednesday night.

“And I tell the dispatcher we need an ambulance ASAP. A guy’s neck got slit and we need an ambulance now,” Roberta said. “The only thing I could think of was putting pressure on his neck to stop the bleeding. It’s unbelievable how much blood you can lose getting slit in the throat.”

Dan said they grabbed bed sheets from inside the house.

“We tried to help the guy as best we could. You just do it. I’m a veteran, so it’s second nature to jump in and help,” Dan said.

A blue car in the gravel parking lot at the intersection was still there Thursday. The Heins said the man who was cut arrived to the scene in that car. They said he is the father of another man involved in the fight, who arrived on a green motorcycle.

“I was told the guy who lives down here was stealing items from the guy on the motorcycle and his girlfriend. That’s all I heard, but I don’t know how true that is,” Roberta said.

On Friday, the man who lives in the white house with the red car emailed NewsChannel 15 and said the man whose neck was cut and his son were threatening his life.

He gave the following account: “When they came around the car I was behind in my yard, I pulled a large knife, similar to a machete, and told then to leave. When they were still coming at me after I brandished a large knife saying they were going to kill me, their threats became very real, and the situation became very serious and life threatening. I was back peddling [and] rapidly shouting at them to leave, I did not want to hit either one with the heavy razor sharp knife because I knew that they would be seriously injured. On the east side of the house, I was taken to the ground and was fighting for my life. During the struggle [the man’s] throat was cut. I didn’t know it had happened until my friend came out and struck them to get them off me and I saw the blood pouring from his neck.”

He also said the fight was not over possible stolen property.

NewsChannel 15’s overnight reporter Rod Hissong observed Investigators searching the blue car in the lot Wednesday night. About 15 feet in front of the car was an evidence placard that appeared to mark a pool of blood. About 100 feet away on Church Street, several more evidence placards could be seen. Thursday you could still see the blood stains on the street and driveway where those placards were.

The Hamilton home where a man was severely cut is shown Thursday, July 20, 2017.

Police have still not released what happened during the incident and said the case is still under investigation.