Stabbing victim released from hospital

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The 18-year-old Cape Girardeau man stabbed Sunday night was released Tuesday afternoon from Saint Francis Medical Center.

He suffered a 4-inch gash in his left shoulder blade, one in the center of his back that doctors told him missed vital veins by a half a centimeter, and a 4-inch-deep, 6-inch-long stab wound down the nape of his neck.

He agreed to be interviewed with his aunt about an hour after his release, sporting fresh gauze bandages and hospital ID bracelets, in the living room of his aunt's home in the 2400 block of Sunny Lane. The victim said he did not want his name released.

The man arrested in connection with the incident, Thomas J. Vicory, 18, of Jackson, grew up in the same subdivision as the victim, said Travis Sikes, a detective with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department.

According to the victim, Sunday was the third time he and Vicory had fought in the seven years they've known each other.

Vicory has several past convictions for criminal mischief type charges such as trespassing and property damage, and one for third-degree assault, for which he served seven days in jail at age 17.

The victim's aunt, Susie Girloch, said her nephew "was the first one to stand up to him."

The family said Vicory had called and threatened them a few times, but they never took it seriously.

Around 10 p.m. Sunday, two officers from the Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call placed by a friend of the victim.

According to a probable-cause statement written by officer Todd Stevens, Vicory told police the victim "wanted to start trouble" and accosted him while he was walking down the street. He told police he tried to back down and told the other man to leave him alone, but was hit in the face. Flipping open a small folding knife, Vicory said he brandished the weapon and told the victim he would cut him if he persisted.

According to Vicory's police statement, he gave chase with the knife until the victim began hurling pieces of wood at him in an attempt to get away. Vicory told police he caught up with the victim and began stabbing him.

Vicory also told police the victim picked up a metal pipe and hit him in the head with it. The victim denied that to police.

The victim said the fight began when he saw Vicory kicking the door of a friend's house repeatedly. He said he got angry because he thought his friend's toddler was sleeping. He tackled Vicory, hitting him once in the face. When Vicory threatened to cut him, he said he picked up a piece of wood and used it as a bat, chasing him with it.

At least two other witnesses said in interviews they saw the fight and said that at some point they saw Vicory on top of the victim.

The victim said he didn't even realize he was being stabbed until one of his friends kicked the other man in an effort to stop him and the victim obtained the knife.

"I looked at it, and didn't even realize I was bleeding; it just felt like hot water," he said.

Girloch said she received a call her nephew had been shot, ran outside to find him bleeding from his wounds and then collapsed on the sidewalk.

Vicory has been in police custody since Sunday night but was charged Monday with armed criminal action, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

His parents declined to comment on the incident until they speak with a lawyer because they did not want to jeopardize their son's case.

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