According to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release, Idyllwild local Chad Mills, 30, allegedly stabbed another individual during the course of an argument, outside Village Market, around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3.
The victim, Clint Darling, employed at Fairway Market, said in interview that he and his wife came to the market from the video store in Strawberry Plaza at the behest of their son, Robert Owen, 18. Owen had telephoned to say that Mills was trying to start a fight with him.
Darling said he and his wife got out of their car. His wife told Owen to get into the car at which point, according to Darling, Mills started threatening both his wife and son, “threatening their lives,” as Darling related. “That’s when I decided to step in,” he said. “I went over to try to talk to him and he started swinging at me. I defended myself and started swinging back but did not realize I had been stabbed until the knife he had cut my lip and tongue.” Darling said he had never met Mills before.
Darling said there were several witnesses. Mills left the scene before deputies arrived and only then did Darling realize he had been stabbed in his chest, abdomen, bicep and upper shoulder. Injuries required stitches — five to 10 in lip and tongue and staples, 50 to 70, in the other wound areas.
“In a way, I’m glad he struck my face so I knew that I was being stabbed,” he recounted. “Otherwise, it could have been much more serious.”
Darling was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact the Hemet Station at 951-791-3400.
News Editor J.P. Crumrine contributed to this story.