Man on bicycle stabs victim in the back near Courthouse

EUGENE, Ore. - A man fled on a bicycle after stabbing a man in the back multiple times as the victim walked past the Lane County Courthouse near the Eugene Saturday Market.

The victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive the stab wounds, Eugene Police officials said.

Police said Monday that the two men knew each other. It was not a random attack, and police suspect the stabbing was part of an ongoing issue.

Witnesses reported seeing the man, later identified as 51-year-old Brian Fredrick Ernest, stab the other man with a "longer" knife before leaving the downtown park blocks on a bicycle.

Police would not comment on the weapon.

Police detained Ernest a short time later at Maurie Jacobs Park, along the Willamette River several blocks north of the crime scene.

Officials said both witnesses and the victim identified Ernest as the attacker.

Medics responded amidst the bustle of the Eugene Saturday Market and the Courthouse Free Speech Plaza in the city's Park Blocks just before 10 a.m. They had left the scene by 11 a.m.

Witnesses and police said the stabbing happened at the south end of the Free Speech Plaza at the Courthouse, east of the Saturday Market information booth.

Kim Still, Market Promotions Manager, issued this statement:

"As you are aware, there was a stabbing this morning on the sidewalk outside the County Courthouse.

"When you report on this incident, please be clear about the location and its relationship to Saturday Market.

"The stabbing occurred at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. This area is county property. The Saturday Market rents a 10x12 foot area for our Information Booth which is at the corner of 8th & Oak, and outside this Free Speech Plaza. The Plaza is an un-programmed, un-regulated area of activity that is not managed by the Saturday Market. The area is owned and managed by Lane County.

"We respectfully request that you not refer to this area as "Saturday Market," or that the incident occurred "at Saturday Market." It is important to the more than 250 small business owners that depend on the Market for their livelihood that public do not perceive the Market as an unsafe environment.

"Due to increasing unregulated sales of commercial merchandise and related activities, we are always working to make this known to the public. We appreciate your help with passing this information on correctly to your news consumers."