19-year-old Huntington Beach man arrested on suspicion of ‘violent’ pool hall stabbing

International Billiards in Westminster.
International Billiards in Westminster was the scene of a March 12 altercation in which a Huntington Beach resident allegedly stabbed another man.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

A 19-year-old Huntington Beach resident could face charges of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly stabbing a man multiple times during a violent altercation at a pool hall in Westminster, officials reported.

Westminster police, who had been investigating the March 12 incident, arrested James Tyler Hamilton at his Huntington Beach home on March 17 after identifying him as the suspect in the case. Hamilton was still in custody as of Wednesday afternoon in Orange County’s Theo Lacy facility.

Police say the incident took place in a parking lot outside International Billiards, at 6328 Westminster Blvd., at around 1 a.m. that Saturday. Hamilton and another man, whose identity has not been released, were engaged in a fight when Hamilton allegedly withdrew a folded pocketknife and stabbed the man multiple times.

The victim was stabbed in the head, abdomen and his left arm, according to a news release issued by the Westminster Police Department after Hamilton’s arrest. The injured man was transported to a local trauma center and spent five days in an intensive care unit before being released, Westminster Police Sgt. Eddie Esqueda confirmed Tuesday.

International Billiards in Westminster, seen on March 23, 2022
A sign outside International Billiards in Westminster, where local police say proprietors and possible witnesses did not cooperate with an investigation into a March 12 stabbing.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Officers were notified of the incident when a call came into the department at 2:15 p.m. on the day of the assault. Following an investigation Hamilton was located at his residence and was taken into custody without incident, according to the release.

Westminster Police Deputy Chief Cameron Knauerhaze stated in the news release the business operators and those who may have been present during the March 12 incident were not cooperative during his department’s investigation.

“This was more than a fight — it was an extremely violent attack,” he said. “Our detectives are familiar with the location, and I am pleased they were able to put this case together, especially due to the uncooperative business and witnesses involved.”

A representative with the district attorney’s office said Hamilton appeared in court Tuesday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28.

Westminster police detectives urge anyone who may have witnessed the March 12 incident, or who may have additional information, to call (714) 548-3212 or contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855)-847-6227 or Callers can remain anonymous.

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