BAKERSFIELD — Police arrested a local artist on Wednesday after he allegedly stabbed a man at a popular downtown bar the day before.
Bakersfield Police said witnesses were able to identify the suspect as Antonio Saldana who, after causing a disturbance in a tattoo shop near 18th and Eye streets in the evening of July 2, left and then returned to Guthrie’s Alley Cat bar next door. It was there that he reportedly stabbed a man who had attempted to physically remove him from the bar.
Saldana then fled the bar where witnesses said he had been drinking earlier.
“He came into the bar with a paint scraper that had a razor blade on it,” said bar owner Ken Reed, who has previously hired Saldana to paint murals at his establishment. “He started slashing the victim all over the head, hands, and in the neck. I really can’t believe it, he is usually a mild mannered person.” Saldana frequently paints window murals for local businesses.
The stabbing victims injuries were described as moderate to major.
Upon arrival, Bakersfield police shut down the area around the bar, initiating an investigation and search for Saldana.
Saldana was taken into custody on July 3 and booked into the Kern County Jail for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and destroying/concealing evidence.
His bail is set at $500,000.
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