TUCSON – Tucson police were called to a stabbing at a bar in midtown Sunday.
According to Frank Silverman of the Midtown Tavern, a regular customer walked in and sat down in the smoking room. Another man, later identified as 68–year-old Henry Birkhead, walked in behind him.
Surveillance video showed Birkhead approach the victim. Both men then got into a fight, and both took out knives. Tucson police said the victim took his knife out in self-defense.
The video also showed Birkhead hitting the victim, pushing him to the floor and then kicking him.
Lisa Simone is a bartender at the establishment at First Avenue and Prince Road. She said the victim had his service dog with him. She heard the dog bark excessively. Shortly after that, Birkhead went to her and told her to “get that man out of there with a dog, I’m going to kill him.”
She said she then called 911. Simone was told to stay on the line until police got there. She did. In the process, she grabbed Birkhead’s cell phone and kept it so when he came back looking for it, police would be there.
For safety reasons, the 911 operator told her to lock the doors to keep Birkhead out of the building.
Police arrived within minutes and found Birkhead nearby, The owner of the bar said they had a good description of the suspect in addition to the surveillance video capturing the altercation.
Silverman said it was obvious the men had a history. He said it is his priority to ensure the safety and well-being of his customers and employees while they are at the bar.
Police told News 4 Tucson they reviewed the video. They cited Birkhead with a misdemeanor assault. They added the victim’s injury was very minor.