BARRE — A Montpelier man is facing a felony assault charge after police say he stabbed another man in the stomach at Charlie O’s bar in Montpelier early Saturday morning.
Andrew R. Gombar, 30, pleaded not guilty in Washington County criminal court Barre Monday to one count of aggravated assault with a weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to the police affidavit, police received a call around 1 a.m. about a possible stabbing at the bar. Upon arrival, police say they located Jared Mullin, 34, intoxicated and doubled over the steps of the bar saying he had been punched in the stomach really hard. Police say Mullin was not being cooperative, but did say he got into an argument with someone over the ownership of a jacket. Mullin told police that he may have misplaced his jacket in the bar and accidentally picked up Gombar’s by mistake, initiating the argument.
Mullin was asked by police if he had been stabbed and he told them no. Since Mullin was complaining of stomach pain, police then asked Mullin if he wanted to be seen by emergency medical technicians. He declined and said he just wanted to go home.
Police then spoke with Gombar who confirmed he had gotten into an argument with Mullin and had a shoving match over a jacket, but claimed that no assault had taken place.
Police subsequently also spoke with a witness at the scene, who said the two men had gotten into shoving match over a jacket, but did not see any assault take place or hear anything about a knife being used.
Based on the information police had gathered, they determined no assault had taken place and let Gombar go free, handing back to him a knife that was found on him when he was patted down by police before questioning. Before handing it back, police say, they inspected the knife in a dim light, but did not see any blood on the blade.
During the course of the investigation, police also learned that Mullin had court conditions that barred him from drinking alcohol. Mullin was taken into custody and taken to the police department in Montpelier for processing.
Upon arrival at the station, police say Mullin was taken to a holding cell where he again complained of stomach pain. Police say Mullin was wearing a thick winter coat and two layers of dark clothing. They say they then noticed a small slit in the middle of his long sleeve outer shirt with some type of dark stain around it. Police helped Mullin lift his shirt and saw part of his intestines hanging out of his stomach.
Police immediately contacted Montpelier Rescue who transported Mullin to Central Vermont Medical Center for treatment. The medical center did not release Mullin’s condition when requested Monday.
In the affidavit, police say Mullin’s medical status was unknown, except that he would have to undergo emergency surgery for his wound.
Police then canvassed the area looking for Gombar, searching his residence and the downtown, but were unsuccessful in locating him. A short time later, police say Gombar arrived at the front counter of the police station. Gombar told police he had come to the station because when he went home, he took his knife out and noticed it was wet.
Police took possession of the knife and saw that the blade was covered in what appeared to be fresh blood.
In court Monday, Gombar was released on conditions.
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