Man who stabbed 2 San Diego firefighters sentenced to 23 years and 8 months in prison

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 4/22/2016 — Ryan Allen Jones was sentenced to 23 years and eight months in prison for the stabbings of two San Diego firefighters in East Village. He was convicted of two counts each of attempted voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and battery for the attack. 

3/31/2015 — A verdict has been reached Wednesday in the trial for a man accused of stabbing two firefighters who were responding to a medical aid call near an East Village trolley stop in June of last year. Ryan Allen Jones was found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and other charges.

Jones could be looking at over 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Apr. 22.

3/21/2016 – A man with a prior conviction for battery on a peace officer stabbed two San Diego firefighters last year at a trolley stop in a "brazen” attack, a prosecutor said Monday, but the defendant’s attorney said his client acted in self-defense after a fire captain pushed him over a bench.

Ryan Allen Jones, 35, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder of a firefighter, assault with a deadly weapon and battery for the alleged attack on firefighters Ben Vernon and Alex Wallbrett and two transit security officers last June 24.

"He (the defendant) was shoved. He wasn’t shot. He wasn’t stabbed. He wasn’t even punched,” Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott said in his closing argument.

The prosecutor alleged Jones attacked the firefighters in a "brazen attack that was nothing short of pure violence.”

Schott called Jones a "violent man who chose to pull out a knife and stab two firefighters.”

The prosecutor said Vernon and Wallbrett were among several firefighters who responded to a call about 4 p.m. reporting a sick and drunk man at the trolley station in the 500 block of Park Boulevard.

Schott said Jones refused orders to step away from the scene, then attacked transit officers before stabbing the two firefighters.

The prosecutor said Vernon jumped over a rail to assist the transit officers and was stabbed twice with a 3-inch pocket knife, suffering a punctured lung.

The defendant also tried to stab Vernon in the head but missed, according to the prosecutor, who alleged that Jones stabbed Wallbrett multiple times.

A fire captain tripped as he pushed the defendant over a concrete bench, prompting Jones to declare, "I will kill you all,” according to the prosecutor.

Vernon testified during a daylong preliminary hearing last year that Jones was helpful at first, saying the sick and drunk man had been yelling about mixing his medicines before a 911 call was made.

Vernon said he was tending to the drunk man when he saw Jones run into two transit security officers, sending all three over a rail. Vernon said he jumped over the rail when he saw Jones punching one of the officers.

The firefighter said he saw Jones reach into his back pocket and before he knew it, he was stabbed twice.

Transit security officers ended the assault by pulling the 6-foot-3, 210- pound assailant off the victims and dousing him with pepper spray. The guards then held Jones until police arrived.

Defense attorney Thomas Barr said Jones was waiting at the trolley stop when he noticed a confrontation between a transit officer and the drunk man. Barr said Jones was trying to help and keep the situation calm when fire Capt. Steven Michaels pushed him over a bench, forcing Jones to defend himself. 

"Mr. Jones was acting as a good Samaritan,” Barr told the jury.

Barr said Jones wasn’t encroaching on the firefighters until Michaels called him over and incited the incident.

Barr said Michaels — who faces allegations that he punched his pregnant wife and kicked down the door of a girlfriend — has a temper "that got the best of him.”

The defense attorney said Jones was thrown over a rail, hit his head and was blinded by pepper spray.

Jones felt in danger and pulled out a knife in the six-on-one melee and thought, "I don’t want to be another statistic,” Barr told the jury.

Barr said Michaels didn’t follow his duties and the firefighters who were injured "had a duty to stand back.”

"This is a case of perfect self-defense,” Barr said.

3/14/2016 – Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in the trial of a man accused with stabbing two San Diego firefighters. A medical-aid call at an East Valley trolley station on June 24 turned into a violent scene, according to Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott. 

The defendant allegedly stabbed Ben Vernon and Alex Wallbrett several times after refusing to leave the scene. A fire captain tripped and pushed the defendant over a concrete bench, prompting Jones to declare, "I will kill you all," according to prosecution. Vernon testified in a preliminary hearing that the defendant was helpful at first, and was yelling about mixing his medicines before an emergency call was placed. 

3/10/2016 – Jury selection continued Monday at the trial of a man accused of stabbing two San Diego firefighters during a medical-aid call at an East Village trolley station last year.

Ryan Allen Jones, 34, is charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for an attack on firefighters Ben Vernon and Alex Wallbrett last June 24.

7/23/2015 – The man accused of stabbing two San Diego firefighters in a confrontation downtown was scheduled to face a preliminary hearing Friday morning.

34-year-old Ryan Allen Jones was charged with counts of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the June 24 incident in the 500 block of Park Boulevard.

Two firefighters – 32-year-old Ben Vernon and 37-year-old Alex Wallbrett – were among a group responding to reports of a sick man around 4 p.m. when Jones, ignoring requests to step away from the scene, stabbed the two men.

Jones faces more than 25 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges.

6/30/2015 –  Ryan Allen Jones, who allegedly stabbed two San Diego firefighters plead not guilty Friday to each of the three charges against him, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. 

His bail is set at $750,000 and he faces 25 years and eight months to life in prison.

6/25/2015 – During a press conference held by the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Thursday, the names of both firefighters who were stabbed Wednesday while attempting to give medical aid to a man who collapsed were released. Eight year serviceman Benjamin Vernon suffered an upper torso and puncture wound to one of his lungs. He is currently hospitalized at Scripps Mercy Hospital and is in stable condition.

Seven year servicemen Alex Wallbrett suffered wounds to his torso and is expected to be released today from University of California San Diego Hospital.

Vernon and Wallbrett were jumped at an East Village trolley stop by 34-year-old Ryan Allen Jones.

Jones was evaluated at an emergency room Wednesday for a complaint of pain before he was booked into San Diego Central Jail.

The motive for the alleged assault remains unclear.

9:42 a.m. – The two firefighters that were stabbed by a bystander near the Park Boulevard and Market Street station remained hospitalized in stable condition Thursday morning.The two firefighters were aiding a man around 4 p.m. Wednesday when they were attacked. Both men were stabbed multiple times, but their wounds were not considered to be life-threatening.

The suspect, a 34-year-old male, was booked into jail on two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

6/24/2015 – During a medical-aid call on Wednesday in the East Village of downtown San Diego, two firefighters were stabbed by a combative patient.

The firefighters were attacked by the assailant with a knife or similar weapon just before 4:00 p.m. as they were trying to treat him for some sort of ailment. The two San Diego Fire Department men were listed in stable condition after an ambulance crew took each of them to a nearby hospital.

According to San Diego Police Department Officer Humberto Hernandez, police had a suspect in custody shortly after the assault, but the person’s name was not immediately available, nor either of the firefighters.

4:30 p.m. – According to San Diego Fire Department officials, two firefighters were assaulted with a knife on the 600 block of Park Blvd in downtown San Diego on Wednesday at approximately 4 p.m.

The firefighters were responding to medical aid when they were injured.

The incident was immediately turned over to the San Diego Police Department, who sent 16 units to the scene.

SDPD was called to the scene by the San Diego Fire Department in response to multiple stabbing injuries reported.

A possible suspect was taken into custody and the two firefighters were rushed to nearby hospitals.

SDPD is on currently on scene investigating. 

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

Categories: Local San Diego News