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No charges pending in Albertsons stabbing; victim not cooperating

No charges pending in Albertsons stabbing; victim not cooperating

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Police say the investigation into a stabbing at the downtown Albertsons on Tuesday has been inactivated because the victim is not cooperating. 

A 26-year-old man whom police have identified stabbed a 31-year-old man in the upper chest Tuesday evening in the parking lot outside the grocery store on North 27th Street. The suspect ran away but police recovered the knife. 

The victim was taken to the hospital with a serious injury. 

Billings Police Department Lt. Brandon Wooley said Thursday that the victim was not cooperating in the investigation and the case had been classified as deactivated. 

"We do not anticipate any arrests at this time," Wooley said. 

Asked whether that meant the victim told police he did not want to press charges, Wooley declined to say, adding that the department can give out only basic information about cases without running the risk of compromising confidential criminal justice information. 

Wooley said if the man "changes his mind and starts to cooperate," they would reopen the case. 

The victim, described as a panhandler, had walked up to the window of an SUV and asked for money, according to police. The suspect, a passenger, became upset, began fighting with the man and then stabbed him. 

The driver of the car, who is a relative of the suspect, remained on scene. 

Wooley said that certain crimes, including sex crimes against young children and domestic violence cases, do not require victim cooperation in order to proceed with charges, but that assault cases like a stabbing do. 

"At the end of the day, you have to have cooperating witnesses, cooperating victims," Wooley said. 

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