WEST VALLEY CITY — A man who recently got out of jail for threatening a Maverik store employee with a knife was arrested early Monday after police say he went to another Maverik and stabbed an employee in the neck.
Edwin Ogando, 33, of Salt Lake City, was taken into custody thanks, in part, to two good Samaritans who got the injured employee out of the store and trapped Ogando inside an office, according to West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.
The incident began about 2:30 a.m. when police were called to a Maverik, 3112 S. Redwood Road, on a report of a man creating a disturbance by knocking over trash cans. When officers arrived, they learned that the man had jumped over the counter and stabbed a 39-year-old woman multiple times with a pocketknife, said Vainuku.
Prior to officers arriving, two men who were at the store to make a delivery said Ogando was acting strange before the stabbing, and the clerk had already warned them to be careful. Phil Reyes said Ogando was swearing at other store patrons and telling them to call 911.
"Next thing I know, I look back cause I hear crashes and loud noises and hear screaming, I look back and he's got his arms around her (the clerk)," Reyes said.
Reyes went back into the store to help the woman while his partner, Tony Orton, called 911. He followed the attacker as the man pulled the clerk into the manager's office.
"I reach in, grab the girl by her left arm, pull her, she shoves him and she was able to wiggle out and escape," he said.
Reyes and Orton then held the door, keeping Ogando inside the office until officers arrived.
Even after police arrived at the store, Ogando "continued to behave aggressively, destroying property inside the office," Vainuku said.
The officers deployed pepperballs — similar to pepper spray — at Ogdando, but he continued to resist arrest. A police K9 was then sent in to help the officers contain Ogando, she said.
After he was handcuffed, Ogando "continued to be combative, fighting, biting and spitting on officers," Vainuku said.
He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault, three counts of assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and destroying property.
Orton and Reyes returned to the store Monday to find out how the clerk was doing. They said she was stabbed seven times, but was reported to be stable at a local hospital and was expected to be released.
Both men believe Ogando was under the influence of something.
"This guy, he was aggressive, he was violent," Reyes said.
"Never seen anybody that bad before," Orton added.
Both men said they would jump into harm's way again if they had to, in order to help the woman.
"She's a human being, you know. You gotta take care of people," Reyes said.
In July, Ogando pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault in one case, and a reduced charge of attempted acquisition of someone else's bank card in another, according to court records.
In the assault case, Ogando went to another Maverik, 414 W. 500 South, on May 30 "and began throwing things and destroying multiple parts of the store," according to charging documents. Ogando then pulled out a knife "and began swinging it around in the air as well as cutting himself."
The store clerk "backed away for his safety" as Ogando "damaged displays, perishable (food), cables to computers, cracked the front window and got his blood on multiple things in the store," the charges state.
In 2015, Ogando was wanted in New Jersey for a probation violation when he was arrested in Utah, according to court records.
Contributing: Peter Samore
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