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Man stabbed to death outside migrant camp

MANATEE — A 25-year-old man was stabbed to death outside a migrant camp in the Palmetto area just before midnight Friday, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Deputies arrested 34-year-old Faustino Martinez after he ran through a wooded area near a car lot. Deputies used a sheriff’s dog to find him.

Martinez was bitten by the dog and taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

As of Saturday night, Martinez was booked at the Manatee County Jail on a murder charge with no bond.

Authorities have not released the victim’s name. They are trying to make contact with his family in Mexico, said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Dave Bristow.

According to investigators, an argument ensued between two men over money at the camp in the 1500 block of 21st Street East. A bottle was broken over a man’s head reportedly by Martinez.

The man’s older brother, the victim, stepped into the fight outside of a residence and was stabbed several times. He had wounds to his chest.

He stumbled over to a tree where he collapsed and died shortly after, said Capt. Bill Jordan on the scene early Saturday.

Another man tried breaking up the fight and received a laceration to the hand. The younger brother also had a stab wound, Jordan said. Those injuries were non-life-threatening.

Martinez fled the area after the fight and was arrested in the 1400 block of 17th Street East, according to authorities.

Authorities searched Saturday for the knife used in the stabbing.

Bristow said there was an argument leading up to the fight, but the victim wanted to clear the air.

“That didn’t work out obviously. They got into it and that’s when the fatal stabbing occurred,” Bristow said.

The man’s death marks the 16th homicide this year in Manatee County. In 2008, there were a total of 17 homicides countywide.

This year, five of the murders have resulted from fights. In most cases, people knew each other, Bristow said.

“I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason to it,” he said.

Beth Burger, criminal justice reporter, can be reached at 708-7919.

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