Thursday, 25 July 2024

Stabbing victim recovering, says mother

KELSEYVILLE – As sheriff's officials continue their work into a stabbing that occurred in Kelseyville two weeks ago, the young man who was wounded is on the mend, but his mother said the stab wound he received came close to being fatal.


Loren Uriarte, 20, was stabbed by an as-yet unidentified assailant in an incident that happened in the early morning hours of May 16 in downtown Kelseyville.


His mother, Christine Diener, said her son was hospitalized, underwent surgery and is now recovering at home in Kelseyville. But if the knife had hit an inch or so in any direction from its contact point in Uriarte's stomach, the story might have ended differently.


Uriarte and friends Darrin Sullivan and Josh Ponce were at Uriarte's home that night watching movies when they received a phone call from Sullivan's father, Dave, who asked them to come to Kelseyville to give him a ride home. He had been having drinks and said he couldn't drive.


Kim Sullivan, Dave Sullivan's wife, confirmed her son and his friends went to pick up his father at about 11:30 p.m. May 15.


The three young men got into Ponce's new Honda Accord and headed down to Kelseyville to pick up Sullivan at the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, said Diener.


When they arrived, they found a melee – a fight with numerous individuals and Sullivan on the ground being kicked, said Diener.


As the three young men jumped out of the car, they yelled, “We don't want to fight!” A large man, standing about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, ran toward them, said Diener.


Ponce got back in the car. Meanwhile, Uriarte was “clocked” in the face by the large man and went down on the ground, Diener said. When Uriarte got back up that's when he was stabbed in the stomach by an unidentified assailant.


On instinct, he ran back to the car, clutching his stomach, but not quite sure of what happened, according to his mother. While Uriarte was in the car, Diener said the large man started hitting and kicking the car.


At the scene Darrin Sullivan also was punched, said Kim Sullivan.


Ponce drove Uriarte to his grandmother's Kelseyville home, where an ambulance was called to take him to Sutter Lakeside Hospital.


As Uriarte was at the hospital, his mother called the hospital about 1 a.m. and they put her son on the phone, she said.


She said his wound was located on the left side of his abdomen, a few inches from his belly button.


He underwent a four-hour surgery later that morning, in which doctors removed 6 inches from his small intestine, said Diener.


The doctors told the family that the stabbing was done with “great force,” and that if the weapon had struck to the right side of the stomach rather than the left, it could have perforated the liver or the major artery.


Uriarte was hospitalized for five days at Sutter Lakeside, whose staff his mother praised for their care and attention to her son. He's now home, still recovering.


Dr. Keith Long also was present at the scene, officials confirmed, but he has offered little comment other than to say he was “jumped” during the fight.


Because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, the sheriff's office has not offered specifics relating to others involved or their role in the situation that night.


However, Sheriff Rod Mitchell said Friday that progress is being made on the case.


“There's still some significant steps that need to be taken,” he said, before the investigation is concluded.


That includes more interviews, including another with Uriarte, he said.


Diener said her son initially spoke with a sheriff's office patrol deputy at the hospital in the early morning hours of May 16.


Kim Sullivan said sheriff's investigators interviewed her son and husband early on May 16 also, and followed up with them on Friday.


Dave Sullivan was off from work for four or five days, Kim Sullivan said, and has been suffering from headaches.


Mitchell said he's confident the case will reach a conclusion.


“We will be submitting this to the District Attorney,” he said.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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