Deputies said 46-year-old Wayne Kirtley, of Lewiston, was allegedly stabbed with a pocket knife just before 4p.m. Saturday by 22-year-old Matthew Maisano. Nez Perce County Sheriff's Patrol Lieutenant Bill Madison said alcohol was present and may have played a factor in the stabbing.
"I can't say that a couple of drunks got into a big fight and somebody got stabbed, because we're not really sure," said Madison. "We know that it was present, we know it was consumed, we just don't know how much."
Madison said that some witnesses claim one of the men had been drinking all day and was fairly intoxicated, while the other man had little to nothing to drink at all. The group, consisting of four females, Kirtley and Maisano set camp near the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District pump house, a very discrete location on the water's edge.
"It's not crowded," said Madison. "There's not as many people as on the other side of the lake where there is public camping. This is a popular spot for folks who just want to come out and be away from people."
What started as just another day of fishing quickly turned tragic as the individuals at the campsite got into an altercation after their dogs got into a fight.
"Tempers flared after the individual owner's dogs were separated and a physical fight ensued after wards were exchanged," said Madison.
According to Nez Perce County deputies, witnesses continue to be questioned and information remains consistent with original statements. The four women claim to have seen the fight break out, but only a few saw the alleged stabbing. Madison said it is not uncommon for people to fish and camp at the site where the alleged stabbing took place.
"Unfortunately, that's what was happening here tempers apparently flared and this altercation turned into a stabbing," said Madison.
Deputies said once Kirtley was stabbed he attempted to chase Maisano down. Kirtley was then helped to his vehicle by his girlfriend and driven to the local Waha Store where he was transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. Kirtley was released Tuesday afternoon.
The Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office has issued a warrant for Maisano's arrest, who remains on the run in Lewiston and is considered dangerous. Notifications have also been sent to law enforcement agencies around the region who remain actively looking for Maisano. The sheriff's office encourages Maisano to come forward so the issue can get straightened out.