FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks man stabbed Wednesday morning in downtown Fairbanks may have been attacked because he refused to buy alcohol for an underage man, according to a criminal complaint filed today against the alleged stabber.
Benjamin G.I. Tumbloo, 18, of Fairbanks, approached a 49-year-old man he did not know twice Wednesday morning and asked him to buy him alcohol, according to the complaint.
The second time they met, near the north end of the downtown Fairbanks Chena River footbridge, Tumbloo stabbed the man in the stomach and rode away on a bicycle. The stabbing was witnessed by at least three other people, according to the complaint.
One of the witnesses followed Tumbloo from the scene to the snow dump area near the Johansen Expressway and College Road where Fairbanks police said he threw a folding knife with dried blood on the ground when approached by officers.
Tumbloo told police he stabbed the older man in self-defense because the older man pulled a knife on him. The other witnesses told police they did not see the victim pull a knife or threaten Tumbloo with a knife.
The victim suffered a stab wound to his liver and was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery.
Tumbloo was arraigned Thursday afternoon at the Rabinowitz Courthouse where Magistrate Alicemary Rasley did not set bail, citing the severity of the crime and her sense of the strength of the case against Tumbloo. Tumbloo asked to be represented by a public defender.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.