Photo by Imperial Police Department
The man responsible for stabbing a woman Tuesday night outside of the Subway restaurant in Imperial is behind bars.
Stuart A. Gordon, 22, was apprehended around 10 a.m. Wednesday in the City Office Parking Lot.
Gordon is accused of stabbing a 22-year-old woman outside the sandwich shop.
Imperial Police spokesperson Sgt. Rob Browning reported that around 10:10 p.m. Tuesday, two female Subway employees were closing out the day’s business. One of the employees took the trash out to the dumpster and was startled by a man, identified as Gordon.
Browning said the woman offered a greeting to Gordon but he didn’t respond.
About 10:10 p.m. Subway sandwich shop 400 block of Broadway.
The employee returned inside and locked the back door.
Both employees exited the front of the building a short time later and discovered the man lurking outside the store, Browning said. The victim offered a greeting, but was also met with silence.
As the other woman was entering her vehicle, she heard the victim shout, “What are you doing? Stop! Someone help!” according to Browning.
The witness said Gordon appeared to lunge at the victim. The witness ran across the street to the VFW and pounded on the door. She received no answer.
“The VFW was closed, and only the bartender was inside,” Browning said. “He was vacuuming. Of course, he feels just terrible about it now.”
The witness saw the victim fleeing Gordon, who pursued. Browning said the victim fell and Gordon kept running. The witness ran to the victim who said she needed to go to the hospital and that she had been stabbed.
An officer responded to the hospital and discovered that the victim had been slashed from her ear to her chin, and stabbed in the groin. Browning said she was treated and released to her family when she was able.
“At that point, we started tearing the town apart looking for this guy,” Browning said. The town’s new Code Red system was utilized to warn residents that Gordon was on the loose and to lock their vehicles so he couldn’t steal them easily.
Browning said Gordon is homeless and arrived in Imperial four or five months ago. He claimed to be from Illinois but otherwise wouldn’t reveal anything about his past.
A local church did what they could to get the young man on his feet, helping him find a place to live and employment, Browning said.
The jobs didn’t work out and Gordon hitchhiked down to Texas last month, Browning said. Members of the church began to notice strange and concerning behavior from Gordon prior to his departure. “They thought there was something not right about him,” Browning said.
Gordon returned to Imperial to work odd jobs shortly before the attack.
Police are unsure as to the direct motivations for the attack, though race may have been a factor. Gordon had indicated an intense loathing of African Americans to church members. The victim is black.
Browning reported that statements are still being taken and the department has not yet decided what all to charge Gordon with. He is currently being held in Chase County jail.