Anchorage man stabbed after stopping assault

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man who intervened when he saw a woman being beaten was stabbed Sunday.

Kurt Falke, 39, told the Anchorage Daily News that he had just gotten off his job as a bouncer and reacted instinctively when he saw a man ''shoving a really tiny woman into a wall'' downtown at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

He yelled at the man and approached the pair. The man attempted to slug him. Falke ducked and came back with his own punch that knocked the man down.

Thinking the assault was over, Falke then turned to leave. But the man tackled Falke before he got a few feet. They wrestled around for a couple of minutes, and then the man got loose and ran away.

Falke stood up and realized he was bleeding.

''He stabbed me while we were on the ground,'' he said.

The man had driven the knife into Falke's left side, puncturing his lung. He lost two pints of blood, he said.

A witness called the authorities. An ambulance drove Falke to the hospital.

Anchorage police say the witness's account backed up Falke's story, and police are looking for the man with the knife. He may be homeless and his first name may be Steve, police said. The assailant was about 40 years old and about 5 feet 8 inches tall.

When faced with this type of situation, people need to decide how much risk they are willing to take, said police spokesman Ron McGee.

''He did a very brave thing trying to step into the middle of it,'' McGee said.

Falke said he is not sure what he would do if faced with such a decision again, though the experience may cause him to think twice.

''Maybe next time I'll just use a telephone,'' he said.

This time around he didn't think about it once, much less twice.

''I just reacted,'' he said. ''It seemed like the thing to do.''

Falke said the woman's small size probably influenced his immediate response.

''She was just a tiny little thing,'' he said.

At 218 pounds, Falke said he figured, ''If you want to pick on someone, come pick on me.''

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