When Cutting Yourself, Use the Right Kind of Blade

From the little I know about cutting, I’m guessing the goal isn’t to put someone in the hospital. Last week, a King County prosecutor dropped an assault charge on a woman who did just that during a Halloween party in Burien. In court papers, Detective Jon Holland of the sheriff’s department details everything that went wrong:

1. Alcohol. “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been drinking, but we weren’t doing any drugs,” the victim, Sarah, told Holland. When Sarah went to use the bathroom, two strangers, Heather and Ronnie, followed her in. (No surnames, because of the apparent regret of everyone involved.)

2. Inadequate vetting of cutting partner. “[Sarah] was using the toilet and talking with Heather and [Ronnie] about, ‘death and blood,’” writes the detective. “[Ronnie] states that Heather and Sarah were in the bathroom holding hands and kissing each other. He says that Sarah left for a few moments and retrieved the knife.”

3. Relinquishing control of the knife. “[Ronnie] said that Sarah cut Heather’s arm and began sucking the blood out of her arm. [He] said that Heather said that [Sarah] wanted to have her arm cut as well,” Holland reports. “Sarah said Heather told her, ‘I hope you live through this,’ and then cut her with a knife.”

4. The wrong kind of knife. “She cut me!” somebody outside the bathroom recalled hearing. Sarah emerged with a slice in her right forearm measuring “at least 0.75 inches deep and about 3.5–4 inches across,” writes Holland. Her flexor tendons had been severed, and she’d lost feeling in two fingers, hospital staff later discovered. “The cut went [too] deep because of the type of blade,” in this case a bread knife, says Holland. “[Ronnie] said that a serrated edged knife is dangerous to use when involved in this type of practice.”

I guess it could’ve been worse.

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