Cedar City police arrested a man after he allegedly stabbed his brother-in-law in the face with a ballpoint pen.
Police say the victim was stabbed as he helped Jesus Javier Ortega, 30, out of his vehicle into his wheelchair in the parking lot at the True Life Center the morning of Sunday, Sept. 7.
“While the brother-in-law was helping to unload him, he asked for a hug,” said Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack. “When (the brother-in-law) came close, he stabbed him.”
Womack said that the victim was helping raise Ortega’s son while Ortega was in prison and the two were arguing about how the son was being raised.
Witnesses told police that Ortega was accusing his brother-in-law of trying to turn his son gay.
Ortega allegedly stabbed the victim, a 33-year-old Cedar City man, in his face several times. He did not suffer any life-threatening injuries, but was taken to the hospital where he received more than a dozen stitches for punctures near his left ear, lip and right cheek, Womack said.
Ortega was charged with a second-degree felony count of aggravated assault and booked into Iron County Jail. His bail was set at $20,000.
The people attending Sunday services in the church were told to stay inside as police assessed the situation, said True Life Center Pastor Pete Akins.
Akins said Ortega began attending the church with his family about a month ago.