Laramie Man Denies Downtown Knife Attack
A man accused of using a knife to attack another man in downtown Laramie pleaded not guilty to a felony assault charge Monday in Albany County District Court.
John Joseph Gaudio III, 23, is charged with one count of aggravated assault – bodily injury with a deadly weapon. If convicted, he could spend up to 10 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.
Police arrested Gaudio Jan. 30 while investigating a reported stabbing in downtown Laramie.
Officers met with the victim at the Buckhorn Bar at 2:37 a.m. According to the police affidavit, an officer saw a three-centimeter puncture wound in the victim's chest, apparently from a knife, as well as cuts in the victim’s t-shirt and jacket.
Court documents say witnesses saw Gaudio and the victim fight and fall to the ground in front of Roxie’s On Grand, before Gaudio fled north through the alley between Second Street and Third Street.
Police say they later found Gaudio sleeping on the floor in the entryway of the apartment building where he lived. According to the affidavit, an officer asked to pat Gaudio down for weapons, and Gaudio reached for a pocket knife clipped to his right front pocket. The officer quickly secured the knife before Gaudio could reach it.
Court documents say Gaudio later told police he was holding the knife in his right hand with the blade pointed down when he punched the victim, because he was angry at the victim for stopping a fight. Police say in the affidavit that such an attack would have caused a slash wound in the victim’s chest, but officers did not observe a slash wound.
According to the affidavit, the cut marks in the victim’s clothing and puncture wound in the victim’s chest indicated a straight thrust of the knife rather than a slash.
In court Monday, defense attorney Erik Oblasser asked Judge Jeffrey Donnell to amend Gaudio’s curfew so Gaudio could work on group projects in the engineering program at the University of Wyoming. Oblasser said Gaudio was behaving well, having attended over 50 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Prosecutor Kurt Britzius did not object, so long as the no-contact order stays in place.
“This incident does seem to arise from an alcohol-induced behavior,” said Britzius.
Donnell allowed the change, but strictly on the condition that Gaudio be out past 8 p.m. for academic purposes only.
Gaudio remains free on $15,000 signature bond. He is set to stand trial Aug. 15-16.