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Morgan Hill
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February 25, 2020

Police: Two stabbed in chaotic downtown Morgan Hill fight

A Sacramento man who was in town for the Mushroom Mardi Gras festival was accidentally stabbed by his friend when two groups clashed in a fight outside a downtown Morgan Hill bar Sunday night, according to police.

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The 52-year-old victim and his girlfriend, a Morgan Hill woman, were finishing a drink at the M&H Tavern when they decided the venue was “getting a little rowdy,” Morgan Hill Police Sgt. Troy Hoefling. After having one drink, the couple—joined by three other friends including a family member of the woman—decided to walk across Monterey Road to The Hill, another late-night bar and restaurant.

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“As they got to The Hill, about 10 guys came out and some punches were thrown, including (from) the victim who got stabbed,” Hoefling said.

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During the altercation, which took place on the sidewalk outside the bar, the Sacramento man was knocked to the ground and stabbed in the back, according to police. The suspected stabber was the victim’s girlfriend’s family member, and police think his knife connected with the wrong target.

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“He thought (he was stabbing) somebody who hit him,” Hoefling said.

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The suspect ran away from the scene on foot as police arrived about 10:40pm, according to Hoefling. However, witnesses pointed him out and he was arrested. The suspect also suffered a stab wound to his leg, and police think this injury was accidentally self-inflicted in the process of running away.

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The suspected stabber, Anthony Paul Hernandez, 33, of Morgan Hill, was booked at Santa Clara County Jail, Hoefling said.

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Hernandez and the Sacramento man suffered non-life threatening wounds, Hoefling said.

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Officers were able to arrive at the scene quickly as they were already behind the M&H Tavern responding to a report of an unrelated fight, Hoefling noted. The suspects in that incident scattered as police arrived, resulting in no arrests. Police do not think any of those involved in the incident behind the Tavern were involved in the fight in front of The Hill.

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The fight that resulted in the stabbing does not appear to have been gang-related. Hoefling said it is unclear what started the fist fight outside The Hill, but it appears one of the 10 males exiting The Hill was “more rambunctious than the others” and physically instigated the conflict by throwing initial punches.

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Hoefling added that “all involved” in the fight had been drinking alcohol. The group of 10 individuals who exited The Hill “were much more intoxicated” than the Sacramento man, alleged stabber and their family/friends, Hoefling said.

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The 39th annual Mushroom Mardi Gras took place May 26-27 in downtown Morgan Hill. On Sunday, the festival ended at 6pm. In previous years, downtown business owners have complained about the impact of patrons who become intoxicated at the festival, then visit local establishments for more alcoholic drinks, contributing to incidents of violence, vandalism and other disturbances.

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