Lodi Detective Credited with Saving Man’s Life After Breaking Up Knife Fight

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LODI -- A Lodi police detective is being credited with saving a life after spotting two men fighting outside a smoke shop.

All around Lodi, people are talking about Monday's incident, a stabbing at the Up In Smoke shop on Lodi Avenue.

"I just drove by after going to my sister's house, and seen like five cop cars, a couple of ambulance, and then like carry a guy out on a gurney," said Rachel Shuman, who witnessed the aftermath.

"It's nothing unusual to have a stabbing or a shooting in this neighborhood," said Tom Collins who lives near by.

But what is unusual is one Lodi police detective was able to stop it.

"I saw them on the side of the business, they were kind of wrestling around on the ground," said Detective Mitch LeStrange, who was driving an unmarked car when he spotted the fight. "One of them got up, walked into the store, and that's when the suspect chased him in, and that's when I realized something was going to happen."

He flipped his car around, hopped out and ran inside the store.

"It was pretty chaotic, I saw the shelves were already falling on the ground, there was merchandise everywhere," LeStrange told FOX40.

Police say at that point, 22-year-old Cesar Flores had pulled out a knife on the victim, cutting his stomach.

"There's one guy on top of the other guy, had a knife in his hand, getting ready to stab him... The victim is yelling, he stabbed me he stabbed me!" LeStrange said.

That's when LeStrange said he sprang into action.

"Pulled a gun, ordered him to drop the knife, he complied at that point," he said.

Backup arrived and Flores was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Soon after, the victim was immediately taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

But that may not have been the case if not for LeStrange. It's a fact all his co-workers acknowledge, but one the detective is modest about.

"They mentioned it this morning, but it's just kind of part of the job, it's what we're expected to do, I'm sure anybody else here at the police department would have done the same thing so. Just happened to be at the right place at the right time," LeStrange told FOX40.

Flores, also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.