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Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald, Published July 04 2009

Suspect in Lakota, N.D., stabbing arrested in Kansas

A man was arrested Friday afternoon in Colby, Kan., in connection with the stabbing of a 16-year-old Lakota, N.D., boy.

James Patrick Garber Jr., 21, was arrested on a bus without incident at 4:10 p.m. by Colby police and Kansas state patrol officers. He boarded a bus Thursday afternoon in Grand Forks and changed buses in Fargo.

Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke said Garber was arrested for aggravated assault and attempted murder. The 16-year-old, unidentified because he’s a minor, suffered multiple stab wounds from a fight early Thursday.

The victim remains in critical condition in Altru Hospital in Grand Forks. He was stabbed in the neck, chest, abdomen and back. An ambulance took him to Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, but he later was airlifted to Altru.

The boy underwent surgery again Friday after several hours of surgery Thursday. “His jaw was split down the middle,” Janke said.

At the time of the incident, Janke said, Garber and the minor were the only two people at the residence, which was the home of the victim. “So, it’s unknown what the fight was about,” Janke said. “We’re waiting for the status of the victim to improve so we can schedule an interview with him.”

Garber moved to Lakota about five years ago, moved away and then moved back. He was living with acquaintances.

The suspect faces an extradition hearing in Colby next week.

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications.