A sudden stabbing ended a Fourth of July party at the home of Stacy and Bryan Parkerson in Pine Saturday night.
The party ended abruptly when two men, Jack Morris, 29, and Joshua Peck, 25, took the horseplay a little too far.
Morris is at home recuperating from three knife wounds and Peck has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
"It was not alcohol-related, it was not about drugs, it was not over a woman -- it was just horsing around that went bad," party host Stacy Parkerson said Monday.
Peck was dunking kids in a small pool, and some of their parents decided it was his turn and tried to dunk Peck, Parkerson said. That turned into a scuffle between Peck and Morris that Parkerson said looked like a wrestling match.
"The wrestling around in the road looked like horseplay. It turned into a real fight. Only a few punches were thrown and the knife was out and boom, we were working on Jack in the back of the truck," Parkerson said. Parkerson is an EMT with the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department.
Of the more than 50 guests at the party, four were paramedics and another was an EMT. All six jumped into action.
"All I saw was this guy coming up the driveway with other people holding a shirt on his head," said Bob Lashua, a captain with the P-S Fire Department. The six, including Harris Scott, P-S captain and paramedic, paramedics Mike Brandt and Mike Roggenstein, and EMT Kevin Figueroa grabbed the bags they had with them and immediately assessed and treated Morris' wounds. Morris was stabbed in the left ear, left abdomen and right inner thigh.
"We laid him in the back of the truck and tried to stop the bleeding as much as we could," Lashua said. "We wrapped up the leg and side wound and held pressure on his head, got him loaded, and down the road they went."
The ambulance was called from the P-S fire station on Hardscrabble Road, just over a block away, at about 7:30 p.m.
Lashua said of the ordeal that it took just minutes but has had a lasting effect on the small community.
"I'm glad it wasn't as bad as it could have been. You really don't want to get put in that situation when you are off, just eating at a barbecue," Lashua added.
Parkerson, still trying to grapple with why this happened, said, "Everyone is so shocked because everyone knows everyone. It was just playing around. It happened so fast there was no time to break anything up; no one knew it was serious."
"It was fortunate he had some care there," said responding paramedic, Lt. Robert McCormick. "It was alleged the knife was 3- to 3 1/2-inches long. You have no idea with knife wounds that lose that much blood; you got to scoop and run," McCormick said. He and fellow IEMT Don Smith transported Morris to PRMC.
Morris was released Monday morning and is resting at home with his family, said his mother, Terry Morris.
"(The wound to his head) completely cut the ear canal and required 12 stitches. Luckily it didn't puncture the ear drum," Morris said.
"The wound into the side required seven stitches and luckily missed vital organs. The one in his thigh barely missed the femoral artery and has not yet been stitched," she said. "All of the wounds could have been fatal had they penetrated further."
Peck was arrested Saturday night and charged with aggravated assault. He was released on his own recognizance at 11 a.m. Sunday. He is scheduled to appear before Justice of the Peace Ronnie McDaniel at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 13.
For now, the Parkersons have sworn off any future parties. A friend suggested the Parkersons only invite close friends and family to future parties.
But Stacy Parkerson said, "You don't understand -- that was who was here. These are our close friends and family."