BOUNTIFUL – Police say an altercation that began inside a car escalated into a stabbing in front of a Bountiful convenience store on Thursday.
It was regular folks who jumped in to stop the stabbing in the middle of one of the busiest Bountiful intersections at rush hour and risk their own safety to end the bloody incident.
According to Bountiful Police Sgt. Troy Killian, the episode began when a man and a woman traveling west on 400 N. got into an argument, which intensified until the bloodied woman exited the vehicle in the middle of morning traffic in front of the Common Cents store on the corner of 400 N. and 500 W.
Rob Stratton of Bountiful was stopped at the light heading west when he saw the woman exit the white late-model Chevy sedan and run toward the berm in front of the store. Stratton said it was then that he saw the driver of the car swerve onto the berm, making a U-turn and crashing into a stone landscaping area in front of the store.
Stratton jumped out of his truck and approached the man, who by then was holding the woman and trying to stab her with a box cutter.
Stratton said he tackled the man and held him down until Mike and Aaron Mitchell, who had also been on their way to work, pulled over and assisted in restraining the man.
Stratton and Aaron Mitchell told the Clipper that the man was trying to slit his own wrists as they held him down.
A witness told the Clipper that another woman also stopped to assist the woman who had been stabbed.
Killian said investigators recovered the box cutter and discovered blood in the car. He also noted that the man and woman involved in the incident were non-English speaking.
Speaking of the people who stopped to break up the stabbing, Killian said, “We have no problem with people helping out.”
The Bountiful Police Department later released a statement, saying dispatchers received multiple 911 calls reporting that a man had tried to run over a woman with a car.
The release said the woman had been inside the vehicle, and had then been attacked and stabbed in the parking lot of the Common Cents store.
Police identified the woman as 43-year-old Anahit Markosyan, and confirmed that she had multiple knife wounds.
Police also identified the suspect as 50-year-old Stepan Badikyan, who was found with self-inflicted injuries.
Police said the victim told officers a violent dispute erupted during a discussion about divorce, and that the investigation was ongoing.
As for Stratton, the reality of the situation was intense.
“This was way crazy,” he said. “You don’t think about what’s going on; you just react.”
Both the man and the woman were taken to Lakeview Hospital for treatment.