UPDATE: Man who stabbed victim in neck arrested, held on $1 million bail

UPDATED: Saturday, Feb. 10, 5 p.m.

HEMET — Officials announced the arrest of a Hemet resident they allege stabbed a man in the neck while inside a Hemet business last night.

Officers arrested Cole Butts for attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed another man in the neck inside a Dollar General. Hemet PD image

The stabbing, which was reported by multiple 911 callers at two different locations shortly before 5:45 p.m., sent officers rushing to the Dollar General Market on the 200 block of E. Stetson Avenue, as well as the Royal Gardens Apartments about one-half mile from where the stabbing occurred.

Officers who located the stabbing victim at the apartment complex learned that after he was stabbed at Dollar General, the victim had managed to get to the Royal Gardens Apartments.

“The victim had a severe laceration to his neck and was immediately treated by medical personnel at the scene, prior to being transported to a nearby by hospital,” a Hemet PD official explained in a social media release. “The victim’s condition was later considered “stable” by hospital personnel.” Officials have not released the victim’s name.

Based on the circumstances, members of Hemet PD’s Investigation’s Bureau responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their investigation, officials located and obtained video surveillance footage that showed “subjects involved in the altercation with the victim,” according to the release. Using the footage investigators were able to identify Cole Willie Butts, 36, of Hemet as the person who stabbed the victim.

Based on the surveillance footage, investigators tracked Butts to a residence on the 400 block of E. Thornton Avenue in Hemet, where they located and arrested him. He was later booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of attempted murder.

An online jail record search revealed Butts remains in custody, held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned as Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Feb. 15.


HEMET — A man suffered life-threatening injuries after he was reportedly stabbed in the neck at a Hemet Dollar General. After being stabbed, the victim managed to get to a nearby apartment complex. Officials are now at both the store as well as apartment and the victim has been rushed to an area hospital. His current condition is unknown.

Officers discuss a stabbing that happened at Dollar General. Timothy Franseze/Public Safety Incidents photo

Multiple, conflicting calls about the incident began flooding into the City’s dispatch center shortly before 5:45 p.m.

Initial calls reporting the stabbing came in from the business, but those calls were soon followed by calls reporting a stabbing victim who showed up at nearby Royal Gardens Apartment, about one-half mile from the Dollar General.

While City of Hemet Fire personnel and other emergency first responders staged nearby, Hemet PD officers responded to both locations and determined the calls were related.

Officers determined the victim had been injured at or near the Dollar General and then managed to get to the apartments. It was not immediately known how the man got from the first to second location.

Upon finding the victim at the apartment complex officers updated that the man was bleeding profusely from a neck injury. Based on the victim’s injuries officers requested medical personnel expedite their response to where the victim was.

Within minutes, officials at the apartment complex requested an air ambulance to the scene. However, after learning that Mercy Air had an ETA of 30 minutes, American Medical Response medics rushed the victim to an area hospital by ground ambulance. According to witnsses, police provided the ambulance an escort to the hospital to speed their response.

Within minutes of the calls, officers had locked down the Dollar General and store’s parking lot, southeast of State Street and Stetson Avenue. Additional officers, investigators and other officials began converging on the scene within minutes.

During their initial investigation officers determined the suspect had fled the scene prior to their arrival. Officials have not released any suspect information yet and their investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who witnessed the stabbing is encouraged to contact Hemet Police Department at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.

This is a developing story that will be updated when new information is available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Timothy Franseze/Public Safety Incidents photo


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

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