Downtown SLO brawl leaves one stabbed and four arrested

Police say a van full of traveling magazine salesmen were involved in a fist-fight in San Luis Obispo that ended with a local mechanic allegedly stabbing one of the men this afternoon.

The group of nine men had driven to San Luis Obispo from Los Angeles early this morning to sell magazines for Magazine Fulfillment Services before planning to head to Monterey, police said.

The unidentified men were in a white van with Texas license plates driving north on Higuera Street near Pacific Street around 4 p.m. when they saw an unidentified mechanic on Higuera walking to a vehicle and yelled a derogatory remark at him, according to San Luis Obispo Police Lt. Bill Proll.

One of the men dropped his hat as he hung his head out of the window to yell, so the van circled back to pick it up, Proll said.

About four men jumped out of the van and began fighting with the mechanic, who police believe pulled out a folding knife and stabbed one of the men.

Police said they were not certain of the order of events immediately after the incident because they were are interviewing the people involved.

A detective driving by saw the brawl and turned on his siren, which dispersed the group, who ran from the scene.

Three men were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault, and the mechanic was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said. The person who was stabbed also may be arrested. He was being treated at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for a non-life-threatening injury, Proll said.

Dave Watts, who was working nearby, said he heard yelling and screaming and ran to the corner.

“There was honking and a bunch of yelling,” Watts said. “The guy who got stabbed was already stabbed.”

- Leslie Parrilla