A man trying to break up a fight in downtown Bellingham was stabbed Monday night, Nov. 2, according to police.
A 36-year-old man saw a group of people fighting near Man Pies restaurant on Railroad Avenue around 8:30 p.m. He stepped in to try to calm things down and was stabbed by another man, identified as Joe J. Cordova, said Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.
The injured man had two stab wounds on his torso and at least one wound on his arm, Vander Yacht said. After being stabbed, he walked from the confrontation and was found a block away at the 1300 block of Railroad Street.
Officers applied a tourniquet until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital, where he had surgery on his arm. The stabbing victim apparently was a stranger to the group of people fighting, Vander Yacht said.
Cordova, 49, was later found by officers on a boat in Squalicum Harbor. He had a bloody knife on him, according to a statement read by deputy prosecutor Jeffrey Sawyer during Cordova’s court appearance Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Cordova told police he had been jumped earlier that night and took out his knife when someone mentioned having a gun. He denied stabbing anyone, Sawyer said.
Police arrested Cordova on suspicion of first-degree assault. The probable cause statement read in court, however, was for a charge of second-degree assault. Formal charges have not yet been filed.
Cordova is listed as a Level 2 sex offender on the Whatcom County Sex Offender registry under the name Julian Joe Cordova. He was convicted of criminal sexual penetration in the third degree in New Mexico in 1996, according to the registry.
He has other convictions of second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, first-degree commercial burglary and first-degree attempted kidnapping, Sawyer said.
Cordova was released from prison in 2013 and has been living on his boat in Bellingham for two years.
His bail was set Tuesday at $200,000.
Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.