Two men hospitalized after fight near downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A man was stabbed Thursday morning during an argument at a downtown St. Petersburg apartment building, police said.

Police said William P. Matthews, 62, heard a knock at his apartment, 344 Fourth St. S, about 5:30 a.m. He opened the door and was confronted by two men.

Police said one of the men, Oscar Velazquez, a 41-year-old transient, accused Matthews of having relations with his girlfriend. Velazquez and his accomplice forced their way into the apartment. Velazquez had a knife and his accomplice carried a bicycle chain, police said.

Police said Matthews grabbed a hunting knife and used it in self defense by stabbing Velazquez several times. The accomplice hit Matthews with the chain, but eventually ran out the door. Matthews forced Velazquez out the door and called police.

Responding officers found Velazquez lying outside with stab wounds to his torso and neck. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition. Police said late Thursday night that he is expected to survive.

Upon his release from the hospital, he will be booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of attempted murder and armed burglary, police said.

Matthews was also taken to the hospital for minor injuries but was later released.

Police had not identified the accomplice by late Thursday night.

Two men hospitalized after fight near downtown St. Petersburg 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:07pm]

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