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Mont. man accused of slitting man's throat

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 1:04am

FAIRBANKS — A Montana man has been charged with assault after allegedly slitting the throat of a man at a Fairbanks bar.

Lance Arthur Johnson, 45, of Polson, Mont., was arraigned Saturday on an assault charge and remained held on $25,000 bail. He was identified by the injured 37-year-old man, who left the bar and called police from the parking lot early Saturday morning, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .

Calls seeking more information about Johnson’s status on Monday, an observed holiday, were not immediately answered at the Fairbanks Correctional Facility or by Fairbanks police. Online court records did not list an attorney for Johnson.

Police Sgt. Kurt Lockwood earlier told the News-Miner that a grand jury scheduled to convene Wednesday could amend charges.

The victim, who suffered a 5- to 6-inch cut on his neck, was able to leave the bar after being cut.

Lockwood said no arteries or veins were cut. “As long as he didn’t lift his chin up, he was all right,” Lockwood said. “If he lifted his chin up, he was losing copious amounts of blood.”

“The victim was a little bit overweight and he had some fatty tissue in his neck, which probably saved his life,” Lockwood said. “If (the cut) had been an inch or an inch and a half higher, the guy wouldn’t be with us.”

Police arrested Johnson as he was leaving the bar by a back door.

The two men didn’t know each other, and police said according to video surveillance in The Arctic Bar, the two men didn’t talk or fight before the incident. Lockwood said the only interaction between the men seems to be a hug.

“The next thing you know (Johnson) puts his arm around (the victim’s) shoulder, a knife is produced and drawn across the victim’s throat,” Lockwood said. “Nobody in the bar saw anything. You could have dropped a glass and it would have attracted more attention.”

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