A diner at Sushi Ya sushi bar and Japanese restaurant said he provided first aid to a cook after his hand was slashed by a meat cleaver-wielding attacker Tuesday night.
“He cut him pretty deep,” said Tom McCullagh, a Republican candidate for state Senate.
McCullagh said he stopped in at the 2721 W. Jefferson St. restaurant for a bite to eat Tuesday evening with fellow Republican state Senate candidate Ben Bierly.
Before the stabbing, McCullagh said, he heard a commotion from the back of the restaurant, then saw a man he identified as the owner emerge from back, dash through the dining room and out the front door.
The man got into a car parked in the lot outside and drove away, McCullagh said.
One of the cooks then ran from the kitchen into the restroom, McCullagh said. He and Bierly went to see what was going on and found the cook rinsing his bleeding hand in the sink.
“He was shaking real bad,” McCullagh said of the cook, to whom he and Bierly rendered first aid.
“We had to calm him down,” he said.
Joliet police Sgt. Christopher Botzum said officers were called to Sushi Ya shortly after 6:15 p.m. to investigate a report of a person who had been stabbed in the hand.
Botzum had no information Tuesday night on the identity of the stabbed man or who stabbed him.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.
Police officers remained inside the locked-down restaurant for about an hour. A handwritten note taped to the front door said Sushi Ya was not accepting customers at the moment.
Sushi Ya opened in Joliet in 2008.