Originally Published: December 11, 2017 11:56 a.m.
COTTONWOOD –Police are searching for the suspect who allegedly stabbed a man multiple times in the State Route 260 and East Thousand Trails Road area Friday evening.
Cottonwood Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Monica Kuhlt said a warrant with a $100,000 cash-only bond has been issued for Benjamin Pita’s arrest for charges related to the stabbing.
Monday morning, Sgt. Kuhlt said the last report she received on the victim’s condition was that he was in ICU.
Pita of Cottonwood, is described as a 23-year-old Native American man who is 6 feet tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes, and numerous tattoos. Pita was last seen wearing a black and yellow shirt.
According to a Cottonwood Police Department news release, the stabbing occurred in the area of SR 260 and East Thousand Trails Road around 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Police said Pita stabbed a 53-year-old man numerous times in the face, neck, arm and chest while in a car. The victim was driving and Pita was the passenger.
Pita jumped out of the vehicle in the area of East Thousand Trails Road and fled on foot.
Another passenger moved the victim to the passenger seat and drove to a convenience store in the area of Western Drive and SR 260 and called 911, according to the release.
The victim was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center due to the seriousness of his injuries and extreme blood loss.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter assisted in attempting to locate Pita using FLIR (forward looking infrared) cameras and numerous other agencies assisted in the search.
All occupants of the vehicle are known to each other, said police. However, the motive is still unclear.
Police said that Pita was not a hitchhiker as previously reported.
He is currently on Supervised Federal Parole, and the FBI has been notified as probable cause exists to arrest him.