By Brad Smith
United Reporting Crime Beat Reporter
MACDOEL — An Amtrak passenger was arrested Aug. 30 after allegedly stabbing a fellow passenger. Armando Avalos, 48, of Oxnard, Calif., jumped off the train in an attempt to flee. He was later discovered by Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
According to Susan Gravenkamp, the sheriff’s office spokeswoman, deputies had been contacted early Saturday morning after a passenger on the southbound Amtrak had pulled the emergency brake. Stopped near Ball Mountain Road, Amtrak employees reported that one of their passengers required medical attention.
“The victim, 24-year old Rodolfo Marroquin of Visalia, was taken by ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, Ore.,” Gravenkamp stated. At the hospital, Marroquin was treated for four stab wounds on the left side of his back. She said that Marroquin has since been released.
Amtrak employees told the deputies that the suspect had jumped off the train but left behind his backpack. Gravenkamp said that a boarding ticket with Avalos’ name was found inside it.
“Deputies also found a loaded handgun, ammunition, digital scales and two marijuana-filled baggies in the backpack,” she said.
A “be-on-the-lookout” warning had been issued for Avalos. A sheriff’s office K-9 unit assisted in the search for Avalos.
In a phone interview, Gravenkamp said the deputies had been searching a spur road along Antelope Creek when they heard someone coughing.
“One of the deputies saw a fire near the train tracks,” she said. Approaching the fire, deputies saw a man sitting by it.
It was reportedly Avalos.
“He said his ankle had been broken,” Gravenkamp. Deputies took Avalos into custody, transporting him to Fairchild Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. After surgery, Avalos proved to be “difficult patient.”
“He threw a container of (his) urine at a deputy,” Gravenkamp said.
She said that had been released from the hospital and booked into the Siskiyou County Jail on Sept. 1. Avalos was charged with attempted murder, violation of parole and manufacture/possession of a dangerous weapon. He appeared in court the next day, where the judge ordered him back to prison to serve time for the parole violation.
After that, Gravenkamp said, Avalos will be returned to Siskiyou County, to face the other charges.
The victim told deputies that he didn’t know Avalos—who was traveling from Vancouver, Wash., to Oxnard. Marroquin, bound for Visalia, had boarded the train in Eugene, Ore. “That’s where he first met Avalos,” Gravenkamp said.
According to a Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office press release, Marroquin said he sat next to Avalos, speaking with him briefly as they traveled south. He said Avalos kept pacing the aisle and at one point left the rail car. Marroquin said he felt uncomfortable due to Avalos’ behavior and moved to a different seat.
Marroquin later fell asleep, Gravenkamp said, and the next thing he knew he felt pain in his back and saw Avalos running away.
“That’s when he then pulled the train’s emergency cord.”
Gravenkamp reported that the weapon used in the stabbing has not been recovered as of press time,.