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Police investigating Hawthorne Park stabbing

NewsWatch 12 learned more about the man who was stabbed last night in Hawthorne Park. According to friends of the victim, his name is James Bowman. He is currently recovering in the hospital.

Posted: Jul 2, 2019 6:51 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- NewsWatch 12 learned more about the man who was stabbed last night in Hawthorne Park. According to friends of the victim, his name is James Bowman. He is part of Medford's homeless community. 

Bowman is currently in the hospital. He was hurt, but is recovering. Friends of Bowman said that he often goes to homeless outreach events at Hawthorne Park, where the stabbing happened. They also said that Bowman and the stabbing suspect knew each other. 

Bowman was stabbed at around 6:45 p.m. last night. Police said there were several witnesses who saw what happened at the park and helped hold the suspect until police arrived. Bowman and the victim often saw each other at events hosted the Compassion Highway Project at Hawthorne Park. 

Members of the Compassion Highway Project said that Bowman was always willing to lend a hand.

"Genuinely caring, willing to help, soft spoken, never had a problem with him," said Carey Foster, Compassion Highway Project President of the Board. "He's just genuinely a decent, nice guy."

Police identified the suspect as 26-year-old Marcus Harper. He is also part of Medford's homeless community. Harper is currently in the Jackson County Jail. He is being charged with assault, unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. 

Court documents show Bowman tried to stop a fight between Harper and another man. That's when he got stabbed. Harper told police he was trying to give the other man a hug when that man put him in a headlock. He denied stabbing Bowman. 

Parents at the park are worried about a crime happening so close to where their kids play, but they aren't surprised a stabbing happened at Hawthorne. 

"It just makes me feel more worried and cautious about it," said Carlos Bencomo, a father of three. "It makes me think twice a lot about coming to the park again and, you know, it just makes me a lot more cautious about being out here later around those times instead of early in the morning."

Medford police said that since the beginning of the year, there have been 10 assaults in Hawthorne Park. There were eight last year. Out of all the parks in Medford, last month, police got the most amount of incident calls about Hawthorne. 

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