Bloody sword found, alleged backstabber arrested

POSTED AT 01:48 PM ON Feb. 3, 2013  (UPDATED AT 11:29 PM ON Feb. 3, 2013)


Initially responding to a report of a disturbance, Bloomington police officers entered a South Madison Street residence at about 10:30 p.m. Friday to find a man lying face down in the living room next to a sword coated with what appeared to be blood.

Police arrested Gary L. Coonce, 59, on a preliminary charge of criminal recklessness for reportedly stabbing a 45-year-old man in the back with a sword, BPD Sgt. John Kovach said.

Coonce told police that during a get-together at his residence with friends, he retrieved a sword from behind the entertainment center in the living room and was swinging it around in jest, Kovach said.

Shortly thereafter, Coonce told police, he accidentally stabbed the victim in the back.
Following an interview with the victim, he was unsure whether or not the incident was an accident. The two had not been arguing, Kovach said.

The victim also told police that attendants of the get-together had been consuming alcohol.

After individuals reportedly began using drugs, the victim attempted to leave because he reportedly didn’t want to be around the substances, he told police.

It was at this point that he was stabbed.

Witnesses were present at the time of the incident, Kovach said, but none saw the two-foot-long sword make contact with the victim.

According to an interview with a witness, Kovach said, Coonce told the victim to leave.
The witness then told police he did not see the sword pierce the victim, but instead heard the victim yell he had just been stabbed.

Kovach said the victim was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital.

As of 7:30 p.m. Saturday, he was no longer in the hospital and no information was available as to the severity of the wound.

— Kirsten Clark


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