Sandy man arrested in stabbing with makeshift spear

Published: Thursday, June 17 2010 12:18 p.m. MDT

SANDY — Police have arrested a Sandy man who they say stabbed a hiker straight through the arm with a walking stick that had been made into a spear.

Mark Steven Nalewaja Jr., 23, of Sandy, was arrested Thursday for investigation of aggravated assault in the stabbing of a hiker with a makeshift spear on the Bell Canyon Trail, Sandy Police Sgt. Troy Arnold said. Nalewaja was arrested without incident at his home after police received a tip from someone who heard about the assault in the news.

Police said Nalewaja initially passed by the 40-year-old victim, who told police he was walking up the trail about a quarter mile east of Upper Bells Reservoir when the incident occurred. Nalewaja apparently turned around and followed the man, talking about random events, including how he had apparently returned from hell recently, Arnold said.

The two parted ways and the victim continued walking, only to be followed again by a man who, according to a booking document, "became angry with the other person and stabbed him through the arm" using a walking stick that had been "fashioned into a spear-like weapon with a long metal blade on the end."

Arnold said that Nalewaja told police that he felt threatened and that is what prompted the alleged attack, but Arnold said police don't have any reason to believe that anything the victim said was inaccurate.

Police recovered the weapon. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

— Emiley Morgan

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