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November 6, 2012

Cullman man recovers from stabbing; 3 Hanceville men arrested

HANCEVILLE — A Cullman resident remained in intensive care Monday after being stabbed and pistol whipped, allegedly by three local men at a weekend party in Hanceville. All three suspects have been taken into custody by Hanceville police.

Two of the three alleged attackers, all Hanceville residents, face charges of attempted murder. The third, a student athlete at Hanceville High School, faces a single count of first degree assault.

According to Hanceville police, Francisco Avilez Ortiz, 20, of Cullman was beaten and stabbed nine times in the early hours Saturday morning, after an alleged altercation involving the three men escalated as Ortiz attempted to leave a party that started Friday evening at a residence in the Gilleyville community.

Hanceville police Sgt. Scott McDonald arrested two of the suspects within eight hours of receiving the first report of the incident. The third was arrested late Monday.

Kevin William Crotty, 27, of Hanceville was arrested Saturday and charged with attempted murder. His brother, 16 year-old Jeremiah Jerome (“J.J.”) Washington of Hanceville, was also arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree assault.

McDonald said the Cullman district attorney’s office plans to prosecute Washington, a juvenile, as an adult. Washington is a multi-sport student athlete at Hanceville High School.

The third suspect, Eric Lamar Caffey, 18, of Hanceville was arrested in Hanceville late Monday afternoon and charged with attempted murder.

Ortiz suffered punctures to both his liver and diaphragm, according to McDonald. After visiting with Ortiz at UAB in Birmingham Monday, McDonald said Ortiz was communicative and able to provide him information about the attack.

“He was intubated yesterday, but they removed that and I was able to talk with him today,” said McDonald. “He’s in rough shape — there’s no doubt — but he looked like he was doing pretty well, considering what he’d been through.

McDonald said Ortiz apparently sought assistance after the attack by driving himself to a nearby service station. He was transported to Cullman Regional Medical Center, and subsequently moved to UAB, where he underwent surgery for his injuries.

The three suspects have booked into the Cullman County detention center.

Police do not plan to press any charges against Ortiz.

Benjamin Bullard may be contacted at bbullard@cullmantimes.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 270.

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