New Year’s Eve stabbing suspect arrested, Bloomington police report

Bloomington police have reported the arrest of a 36-year-old Bloomington man as a suspect in a stabbing that took place downtown in the early hours of Jan. 1.

According to a Bloomington police department (BPD) news release on Jan. 8, 2023, Ryan Johnson was arrested the previous day and charged with three felonies: Attempted Murder; Aggravated Battery; and Battery with a Deadly Weapon.

The victim was a 32-year-old man, who provided police with details of the events before the stabbing, according to the news release.

Around 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, the victim told police he encountered the suspect when he was walking towards a bar in the 200 block of South College Avenue. The victim told police he asked the suspect if he could touch the suspect’s hair. The suspect told him no.

But according to the victim, the victim touched the suspect’s hair anyway. After exchanging words, the victim told police he apologized to the victim for touching the suspect’s hair after being told he could not.

The victim and the suspect went their separate ways, according to the victim and did not see each other again until a few hours later in the east-west alley in the 200 block of South College Avenue.

The victim told police that around 1:20 a.m., he recognized the man approaching him in the alleyway as the man whose hair he had touched without permission a few hours earlier. The victim told police that the suspect was walking past him, the suspect bumped into him, and continued walking.

The victim realized he had been stabbed, after instantly starting to feel pain in his abdomen and lifting his shirt, where he saw a big wound, according to the news release.

The victim walked towards College Avenue and asked a bystander to call 911. The man who called 911 told police that he had seen a man matching the description of the suspect walking eastbound in the alleyway holding a knife just before the victim asked him to call 911.

BPD investigators reviewed security camera footage from the area and from The Atlas Ballroom. They saw the suspect on footage from inside Atlas Ballroom just before the stabbing. An Atlas employee identified the suspect by name, according to the news release.

The news release also says the suspect also appeared on video footage walking east in the alleyway just prior to the stabbing, wearing the same clothing as described by the victim.

The news release says that on Jan. 7, BPD was able to locate Johnson in a vehicle near the intersection of Country Club Drive and South Madison Street. BPD officers arrested him without incident, according to the news release.

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