(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Salem police on Tuesday arrested a man charged with stabbing another man at Marion Square Park.
Jacob Joseph Cook, 22, stands charged with first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon in Marion County Circuit Court, court records show.
Monday night, Salem Police Department officers responded to a report of a stabbing at the downtown Salem park, a Wednesday news release said.
Officers from the department's Community Action Unit, which patrols the downtown area on bicycle, found a man with a stab wound in his back. Paramedics after arriving transported the man to Salem Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, the news release said.
Both Cook and the victim are homeless, said Lt. Debbie Aguilar, Salem police spokeswoman.
Officers reached leads after interviewing the victim and witnesses. They arrested Cook Tuesday and booked him into the Marion County Jail.
Cook previously pleaded guilty in October 2019 to aggravated harassment and assaulting a public safety officer in Marion County Circuit Court and was sentenced to two months in state Department of Corrections custody, according to court records.
He later pleaded guilty in March 2020 to attempting to assault a public safety officer, menacing and unlawful possession of methamphetamine in Polk County and was sentenced to five months in jail.
Cook pleaded guilty in January 2021 to not returning to the Marion County Jail after being given a pass for medical treatment and giving false information to a peace officer in Marion County. That same day, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for violating probation in the 2019 case, court records showed.
Cook was released from the Oregon State Penitentiary in mid-December and had a warrant issued Dec. 22 for an existing parole violation. Salem police arrested him Dec. 28, and he was released from the Marion County Jail Jan. 12
"The stabbing incident at the park occurred five days later," the news release said.
“Patrol and (community action unit) officers worked swiftly to make an arrest in this incident,” said Lt. Treven Upkes, who oversees the unit, in the news release. “Our officers patrol the parks as often as possible to create a presence and make the parks safer for everyone, including those who may be experiencing homelessness and living at encampments.”
This post was updated after Salem police provided additional information about Cook and the victim.