Three pro-Armenia demonstrators were stabbed and a motorist was in custody following a confrontation over a protest road blockage in Fresno Wednesday night, according to KTLA sister station KSEE/KGPE in Fresno.
About 150 people turned out for the “Stand with Armenia” rally, held in front of the River Park Shopping Center near Blackstone and Nees avenues.
The event was calling for more support for Armenia from the U.S. government in the nation’s ongoing, deadly conflict with Azerbaijan. The dispute is over the Nagorno-Karabakh border region, also called Artsakh, which is ruled by Azerbaijan but largely populated by ethnic Armenians and has previously voted for independence.
Fresno police responding to a call about a stabbing during the demonstration found three people suffering from stab wounds.
Police say the protest’s organizers parked four vehicles to block the intersection and catch the attention of people driving.
One of the drivers who was stuck in traffic due to the blockage got out of his vehicle and confronted the demonstrators.
Witnesses say some words were exchanged before the driver withdrew a knife or stick and began to violently swing at the demonstrators, according to police.
Two of the victims were taken to Community Regional Medical Center, one with a laceration to the arm and the second with a laceration to the chest. The third victim had a laceration on their finger, officials said.
All three are expected to survive.
The Fresno Bee reported that the victims were men between 18 and 26 years old.
The suspect fled the scene after ramming other vehicles, according to the newspaper.
Police told KSEE the suspect was arrested at 9:30 p.m. and they would provide further details Thursday.