By Jim Misunas
Great Bend’s Shane Kern, 43, attempting to intervene in a domestic incident, sustained stab wounds to his throat and left shoulder Friday night at Brit Spaugh Park, according to police.
Lt. William Browne of the Great Bend police department reports suspect Ryan Howell of Great Bend has been jailed in the Barton County Jail. He is being held on $75,000 bond for aggravated battery.
Great Bend police were dispatched to 2334 Main Street at 9:47 p.m. Friday to investigate a reported stabbing. Kern had walked to the Kwik Shop, 2334 Main, seeking help.
The actions of a Good Samaritan may have saved Kern’s life.
Bob LaPierre of Great Bend had stopped at the Kwik Shop when he noticed some commotion in the parking lot. He said several women appeared emotionally upset. Moments later, Kern appeared holding his fist against his neck, which was covered in blood.
“I remained calm,” said LaPierre, a former athletic trainer. “I got him to sit down and we got a compress started with a shirt. We got a towel drenched in cold water and kept a compress on it. It was the longest few minutes of my life.”
Kern was transported to Great Bend Regional Hospital, where he was stablized. Kern was transferred to a Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, where he is reported in serious condition Saturday.
Lt. Browne said the incident apparently was started when Kern’s girlfriend, Denise Cornwell, 37, had confronted Howell at Brit Spaugh Park about an alleged altercation with her step-daugher, Victoria Zelenka, 24.
“Kern stated Howell then pulled a knife out of his pocket and cut him across the throat,” Browne said.
The police report indicated Howell left the scene on foot, but was eventually taken into custody at a residence at 2804 Williams. Great Bend police are seeking a search warrant on Howell’s residence.
The case is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information, can contact the Great Bend police at (620) 793-4120, or Crimestoppers at 792-1300.