Deputies: Man attacked bartender who cut him off - FOX 13 News

Deputies: Man attacked bartender who cut him off

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An Indian Rocks Beach bartender is recovering at the hospital after she was attacked by one of her customers Sunday night.

Michael Arnold saw the terrifying scene play out. He was on a date at the Red Lion Pub when he saw bartender Rebecca Shaefer get into a disagreement with another customer.

"The next thing I know, the guy pulls out a knife and starts stabbing her repeatedly," Arnold said Monday.

As the bar cleared out, Arnold flung himself forward.

"I ran up behind him as fast as I could and put him in a choke hold and took the knife from him," he said.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies say 50-year old James Klingbeil was mad after bartenders cut him off. They say he walked down the street to a grocery store, bought a 9-inch fillet knife, came back to the bar and attacked Schaefer.

"There was just blood everywhere. Luckily, as soon as I grabbed him, she was able to run out the door," Arnold said.

Arnold and two other men held Klingbeil down until deputies got there, but it wasn't easy. Arnold was stabbed in his forearm and hand.

Red Lion regulars are shocked.

"Indian Rocks Beach, Bellair Beach, Redington Shores is not a violent area. It does disturb us when things like that occur," said Red Lion Pub customer Tom Luger.

Schaefer's parents say their daughter would have died if it weren't for the strangers who became heroes.

"Honestly, I feel like I did what anyone else should have done. I just wish that I was closer because I could have stopped more from happening," Arnold said.

Schaefer underwent surgery at Bayfront Medical Center on Monday for stab wounds mainly to her arms.

Klingbeil's being held at the Pinellas County Jail on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and battery.

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