3/31/-09: 2 Ft. Lewis soldiers arrested in stabbing investigation

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by By ELISHA HAHN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 18 at 3:03 PM

Video: Fort Lewis rangers arrested for burglary

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two Army Rangers from Fort Lewis are under arrest in connection with last weekend's stabbing in Olympia.

Surveillance footage reveals the soldiers may have gotten the knife by breaking into the bar they were kicked out of.

The stabbing happened outside Charlie's Bar in Olympia. As the victim, 24-year-old Brad Merten, was leaving the bar early Saturday morning, someone knifed him in the back.

Tuesday night, Merten's mother is relieved but has a lot of unanswered questions.

"I don't know if it was boys being boys or partly military training or if it was alcohol," said said.

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Police say a group of soldiers drinking at Charlie's got into an argument with another group and was kicked out of the bar. Security camera video from the bar shows two of the soldiers later breaking in, going into the kitchen.

"One of them was seen taking a knife out of the knife block in the kitchen," said Tor Bjornstad, Olympia Police.

Merten told family and investigators it felt like he was sucker-punched in the back, but then realized he was stabbed.

Police are still looking for the knife.

The two soldiers under arrest for burglary and assault are with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis.

More arrests may be coming.

But Merten has the clear memory of one soldier who stopped to render aid, helping Merten to control the bleeding until medics arrived.

"I like to meet that guy actually," said Merten's mother. "I don't know who it was."

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