Five men stabbed in large fight outside Spanaway tavern

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said five men were stabbed and several others hurt after a large fight outside of TJ's Tavern in Spanaway. 

SPANAWAY, Wash. — Five men are hurt and one man is arrested after a large fight outside of TJ’s Tavern on Pacific Avenue in Spanaway.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said the fight broke out around 10 p.m. on Thursday night.

When deputies first arrived, they found several people still fighting in the tavern’s parking lot. They found an unconscious man lying on the sidewalk with several cuts on his cheek and a large cut on the back of his head.

Witnesses told police the man who started the fight was heavily intoxicated and caused problems with several people inside the tavern.

When he was asked to leave, he apparently got into an argument with another person on his way out the door, which turned physical in the parking lot.

Witnesses told police several people tried to stop the fight, while others attempted to join in.

That’s when, according to witness, “all hell broke loose.”

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Deputies found one man inside the bar with blood-soaked towels covering his wrist. He told police he was stabbed while trying to stop the fight. Another man had a cut on his neck. He told police he was hurt when he tried to protect several women who were thrown to the ground during the fight.

Another person told police he saw the suspect stab his friend. The man said he grabbed a crutch from the bartender and swung it at the suspect, but fell to the ground. While he was down, he said the suspect stabbed him in the head. He told police he managed to stand up and hit the suspect again with the crutch.

While deputies provided first aid to the people who were hurt, one sergeant ran to the side of the tavern and found the suspect standing next to a van. According to police, his hands were covered in blood and he had trouble standing. They said his speech was slurred, he smelled like alcohol and had several wounds on his hands.

The sergeant located a folding knife on the ground next to the van that was covered in blood. There were blood smears on the van as well.

The suspect and several victims were taken to local hospitals.

While at the hospital, the suspect became verbally and physically combative and made threats to one of the deputies.

He was later booked into Pierce County Jail on five counts of second-degree assault. The suspect's name has not been released yet.