Woman Injured Trying To Save Co-Worker From Knife Attack

17 Mar, 2021 Liz Carey


Ogden, UT (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Utah woman may lose the full use of her hand after intervening in a fight between two of her co-workers.

Police in Odgen, Utah said they were called to a business around 1:30 on Friday, where they found the woman sitting on a table with two other women holding a paper towel on her hand.

"I could clearly see that the victim was bleeding heavily from her hand and there was blood on the floor where she was sitting," an officer wrote in a probable cause affidavit, according to KUTV.

Lt. Brian Eynon of the Odgen Police said that the suspect, identified as Kay Karnes, and a co-worker began arguing over an apparent domestic issue while they were working at a Business Depot warehouse.

"At one point, Kay went and grabbed a steak style kitchen knife with a black handle and serrated teeth. Kay then came back to the middle of the warehouse, where he began the quarrel with the victim again," the affidavit states.

Multiple witnesses said that Karnes then tackled the male employee and stabbed at him multiple times, including three times in the neck. At that point, the woman, named only as ‘victim two’ in the affidavit, tried to intervene. The woman told police that she was afraid that Karnes was going to kill the other man.

“Victim two grabbed (Karne’s) hand that was wielding the knife in an attempt to stop him from stabbing victim one. After grabbing ahold of (Karnes) hand, (Karnes) pulled his hand back forcibly, cutting victim two's left middle, ring, and pinky finger," the affidavit states.

Karnes then fled the building with another “involved party,” hiding the knife in some of his other belongings in the building as he left. The other party was not named in the affidavit.

Medical personnel at the scene advised the woman to go to the emergency room. There, according to the affidavit, doctors found deep lacerations and cut ligaments in her fingers requiring 17 stitches.

The victim was advised by a doctor treating her that she would need to see a hand specialist, and may lose full function in her left hand, the officer said in the document.

The officer said the co-worker whom Karnes attacked first feared for his life as well.

"When I spoke with ‘victim one’ he stated that he feared for his life and was deeply thankful for victim two because without her intervention he believed that he would have been killed during this incident," the affidavit states. 

The male co-worker was injured, but it was unclear from reports how badly.

Karnes was eventually found by Clearfield police and taken into custody. He was charged with suspicion of attempted murder and aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Police said in the affidavit that while he was being interviewed, Karnes admitted through a translator that he had grabbed the knife. However, he said that he only intended to scare the man because of the fight they were having and denied trying to stab him. Additionally, he said he didn’t intentionally stab victim two, but merely pulled his hand back when the woman grabbed him.

Karnes is being held in the Weber County Jail. Formal charges were filed against him on Monday morning by the Weber County District Attorney.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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