Manatee deputies believe stabbing was self-inflicted

MANATEE — Authorities now believe a man who walked into the Cedar Hammock Fire Station at 2:36 p.m. Tuesday complaining that he was stabbed in a home invasion attack actually stabbed himself in the stomach.

“We now believe the wound was self-inflicted,” Dave Bristow, a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said at 5:30 p.m.

The man entered the equipment bay of the station on 26th Street West holding his hand over a bleeding knife wound to the abdomen and told firefighters that his injury came from someone who tried to break into his home nearby.

But sheriff’s office deputies, after an investigation, now believe no crime occurred at the man’s residence in the 2700 block of 52nd Avenue Terrace West, the street right next to the fire station.

Earlier, firefighters came to the man’s rescue, giving first aid for the bleeding and calling an ambulance, which took him to Blake Medical Center.

“We don’t believe the man’s wounds are life-threatening,” Bristow said.

Perhaps one reason for the doubt about the man’s claim is that the owner of the house where the man lives, who gave her name as Cindy, said the victim has stabbed himself several times before.

Mike Suggs, who lives across the street from the man, said he always leaves his house at 2:30 p.m. to pick up his daughter from school and didn’t see anything unusual across the street today.

“The house looked just as it looks now, but without the crime tape,” Suggs said, as he watched a sheriff’s deputy investigating the man’s claims.

“Believe me, if I had seen a bleeding man walking down the street toward the fire station I would have stopped and called an ambulance,” Suggs added.

Fire officials did not know anything other than that a bleeding man was in their bay and firefighter/EMT Doug Brett sprang into action.

“Doug assessed the patient, and took immediate action to stop the bleeding,” said Cedar Hammock Battalion Chief Al Lobeto.