Assailant Who Slashed Man Outside Hemet Store Sentenced

Assailant Who Slashed Man Outside Hemet Store Sentenced

News Staff

A man who slashed a pedestrian near a Hemet convenience store was sentenced Wednesday to two years in state prison.

Cole Willie Butts, 36, pleaded guilty last month to assault resulting in great bodily injury for the February attack. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson certified the plea and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.

According to Hemet Police Lt. Eddie Pust, the attack happened about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the 200 block of Stetson Avenue, near State Street.

Pust said the defendant and several people got into an altercation just west of a downtown store. The reason for the fracas was not disclosed. As punches were thrown, Butts pulled a knife and sliced the victim’s neck, inflicting a life-threatening wound, Pust said.

He said the victim, whose identity was not released, ran into the store for help, prompting employees to call 911, summoning paramedics and the police.

Officers swarmed the location and obtained a description of the assailant — Butts — who was located on Stetson minutes later and taken into custody without a struggle, according to Pust.

The victim was taken to a trauma center and underwent surgery. He has since recovered from his injury.

Butts had no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.