RBC I Trying to prevent a family situation from blowing up, Rio Blanco County Sheriff Si Woodruff suffered a stab wound to the abdomen on Thursday afternoon and had to be airlifted to Grand Junction, where he underwent surgery to repair the wound.
A Meeker man, Logan Piper, 19, faces two felony charges in the incident and is still being held in jail on a $100,000 bond.
According to the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office, on Thursday at 3:50 p.m., Sheriff Si Woodruff and Meeker Police Chief Robert Hervey responded to Pioneers Medical Center after being contacted by the parents of a local 19-year-old, Logan Piper. The parents were bringing their son to the hospital for an evaluation and treatment and felt that he might become uncooperative once at the hospital.
Sheriff Woodruff and Chief Hervey were waiting inside the hospital when the parents arrived.
Piper reportedly began fighting with his father in the parking lot outside the emergency room entrance, and he allegedly assaulted his father, knocking him to the ground.
A nurse inside the hospital told Woodruff and Hervey about the fight and they both ran out to the parking lot and confronted Piper.
Upon contact, Piper sprayed Sheriff Woodruff with pepper spray and then produced a knife with the blade extended and allegedly stabbed the sheriff once in the left lower stomach.
According to the sheriff’s office, the weapon was a folding knife about 3.5 inches in length with a blade one inch in width.
Piper then began running south with Woodruff and Hervey in chase. Woodruff, however, was only able to run a few feet before his injury stopped him from going any further, a press release states.
Hervey reportedly radioed for assistance, and multiple units from the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, the Meeker Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife responded to the call for help.
In the meantime, Woodruff was taken into the emergency room at the hospital, where he began receiving treatment for the stab wound.
According to the press release, Piper ran into the hospital employee parking lot south of the hospital and south of Cleveland Street. After a short stand-off with Hervey, Undersheriff Michael Joos and Colorado State Trooper Mark Patterson, Piper was taken into custody and transported to the Rio Blanco County Detention Center, where he is still being held on a $100,000 bond for charges of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault.
Woodruff was airlifted to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, where he underwent surgery.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was requested to take over the investigation, and the CBI sent its Crime Scene Unit and two investigators to Meeker.
The area around Pioneers Medical Center was closed off until roughly 10 p.m. Thursday night until the Crime Scene Unit completed that part of the investigation.
Hospital employees who had to leave their vehicles because of a lockdown and the closed-off crime scene were called and allowed to retrieve their vehicles later in the evening.
Piper was in court on Friday, when he was advised of the charges and his bond was set.
Fortunately, the knife blade missed all vital organs and Sheriff Woodruff was released from Saint Mary’s late Friday afternoon. On Friday, Woodruff returned home to Meeker and he is expected to make a full recovery in four to six weeks.