Artist arrested following downtown stabbing

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A 46-year-old artist is under arrest on suspicion of stabbing someone at a downtown Bakersfield bar.

Antonio Saldana is accused of causing a ruckus in the downtown business district before the stabbing.

Police briefly shut down access to Wall Street in downtown Bakersfield on Tuesday evening by closing Eye Street between 18th and the popular alley business strip as they investigated the stabbing and searched for the attacker.

Just before 5:30 p.m., a man, later identified by police as Saldana, walked into the tattoo shop near 18th and Eye streets carrying what appeared to be a tool for either painting or washing windows and started a disturbance. Bystanders said he was obviously drunk and demanding a belt.

When the man believed to be Saldana was run out of the tattoo shop, he ran into Guthrie's Alley Cat bar. Some said that's where he had come from to start with.

Once inside the bar, the man believed to be Saldana reportedly got louder and angrier and refused to leave. A man who tried to physically remove him from the bar ended up being stabbed. That man's injuries were described as moderate to major.

People in the area said the attacker, whom police believe to be Saldana, is an artist who does a lot of the window paintings for businesses in that stretch of downtown, especially during the holidays.

Saldana was commissioned last April to repaint the marquis at the Fox Theater.