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Men face assault charges for weekend stabbing in Willmar

WILLMAR — Cesar Arce, 42, and Israel Salinas-Cruz, 31, of Willmar, both made their first court appearances Tuesday on second-degree assault charges for their alleged roles in stabbing a man early Sunday morning at a Willmar residence.

Unconditional bail was set at $75,000 for each man. The next hearing for both is May 12 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the criminal complaints against the men, the Willmar police investigation began around 3:30 a.m. Sunday when officers were called to the emergency room at Rice Memorial Hospital regarding a stabbing. Several witnesses to the incident reported that Arce and another man had exchanged words and began fighting at a residence along 12th Street Southwest.

The victim and several others had attempted to leave the residence, but couldn’t drive away because vehicles were blocking theirs into the driveway. The witnesses said that both men had stabbed the victim in the arms and in the ribs.

Both men were later arrested and Arce claimed that the victim and the other man had attacked him, that he alone had stabbed the victim and that Salinas-Cruz was only helping him defend himself.

Salinas-Cruz claimed he did not touch either the victim or the other man and that he didn’t know how the victim got stabbed.

The victim was interviewed Monday at the hospital and told officers that both Arce and Salinas-Cruz were involved in the fight and that both men had approached his vehicle and stabbed him in the chest and arm. He had suffered internal bleeding from a puncture wound to the chest and had two wounds to his arms.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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