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3 hurt, 2 arrested, more suspects sought in Pueblo assaults

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Jan 21 2014 08:47:34 PM CST

One victim slashed in face during robbery, another victim found unconscious in store parking lot.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Three assaults in Pueblo during the past five days have residents concerned but police reassuring them that there's no increase in violence within the city.

"It's not that (crime) is happening more often," said Sgt. Eric Gonzales.  "It's that we're learning about it sooner after it happens, and we can put out more information about it."

Police have solved one case and have leads in the others.

Liz Hipp, a Pueblo resident and Army veteran, reflected on the recent attacks from the parking lot of Safeway at 29th & Elizabeth streets.  That's where a man was found unconscious Monday morning.  The victim, whose name hasn't been released, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"I'm still trained for the side vision and watching what's going on around me," she said.  "(But) something could still happen.  People should be more alert."

Hipp displayed a piece of metal pipe that she keeps in her vehicle for protection.

"That's my equalizer," she said.

A surveillance camera from another business near the grocery captured an image of a blue station wagon leaving the store's parking lot shortly after the assault.  Police want to question one or more people in the vehicle.

"Witnesses said they they saw (the assault)," Gonzales said.  "They didn't see how many attackers there were, they didn't see if a weapon was used.  (The victim's) head just might have hit the ground.  We don't know exactly how it happened."

In a particularly violent assault last Thursday night, a Colorado Springs woman was slashed in the face as she left St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.  Police said the attacker tried to grab her purse but took her wallet containing personal information.

"Statements came out that he was going to kill her," Gonzales said.  "He slashed her with some sharp object, possibly a knife."

Police released a photo of who they believe to be the suspect.  The photo was taken at a nearby store just before the attack, and the man in the photo matches the description given by the victim.

The victim told KRDO NewsChannel 13 by phone that she's worried the suspect may try to find her.

Gonzales said police waited five days to release information about the assault because they wanted to obtain at least a partial identification of a suspect first.

Also on Monday, police arrested two homeless men in the assault of a third man near the downtown intersection of B Street and Union Avenue.

Joshua Chambers, 28, and Jason Fonner, 30, were charged with robbery after police said they took a dollar from the victim.  Police say the victim also may be homeless but denied being so, and refused medical treatment at the scene.

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