WATERVILLE — A Western Avenue man is facing charges after an attack late Wednesday that was the sixth stabbing in about a month in Waterville.

The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries that included a puncture wound to the shoulder.

“I’m concerned about the stabbings,” police Chief Joseph Massey said Thursday. “Violent crime is certainly a priority for us. I think that each case involved alcohol or drugs or a combination.”

Demetrio Bautista, 19, of 51 Western Ave., No. 2, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Thursday and charged with elevated aggravated assault after allegedly stabbing a 20-year-old man in Bautista’s apartment late Wednesday, police Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said.

“The victim suffered several lacerations and one puncture would to the back of his shoulder,” Rumsey said.

He was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus and was believed to have been released by Thursday afternoon, he said.

Officer Robert Bouley found the victim around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Big Apple Store on Elm Street, where Bouley had detained several youths who, in an unrelated case, were underage and intoxicated, Rumsey said.

Bouley was in the parking lot when a patron told him a man inside was highly intoxicated and acting suspiciously, Rumsey said.

Bouley, who called for other officers, discovered that the man had been stabbed and was agitated, disoriented and uncooperative, Rumsey said.

“They took him into protective custody and physically forced him to go to the hospital with Delta Ambulance,” Rumsey said.

Information from the victim led police to 51 Western Ave. and Bautista, he said.

Police found blood on the stairs leading to the apartment, where Bautista initially did not answer the door, he said.

Detective David Caron was called in to handle the case and conducted interviews, after which Bautista was arrested. The Class A felony charge indicates that the assault presented a serious threat of death, Rumsey said.

“Bautista told Detective Caron that he stabbed the victim because he felt he had been disrespected by the victim,” Rumsey said.

Bautista was taken to the Police Department, where he was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. He is scheduled to appear July 10 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

The stabbing follows other recent ones:

* April 8: A man, 26, was stabbed twice in the back during a fight on Spring Street and was hospitalized in critical condition.

* April 26: Two men were stabbed outside the Chez Paree nightclub in the city’s South End. One man was slashed across the chest so deeply that his ribs were visible; the other man was stabbed in the elbow and groin, according to Massey. These were the most serious of the six stabbings, he said.

* April 28: A woman suffered minor cuts to her face and extremities after a man forced his way into her home and assaulted her. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

* May 6: A man was stabbed in the back outside the Bob-In nightclub on Temple Street during an argument. The victim, whose wounds were described as superficial, refused medical treatment.

Rumsey said that to his knowledge, all of the stabbing victims have been released from hospitals.

In all of the cases, the victims were attacked with knives, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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