Stabbing at Country Thunder in Florence Leaves One Critically Injured

Categories: News

country thunder canyon moon ranch.jpg
William Westfall
The entrance to last year's Country Thunder in Florence.
A verbal altercation between patrons of Country Thunder in Florence early this morning turned bloody, resulting in one man stabbed and another taken into police custody.

According to media coverage of the stabbing, deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office descended on the scene of a spat that was occurring between two different parties after receiving calls at around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. What they found was reportedly the aftermath of a violent encounter that had escalated out of control.

An unnamed 36-year-old was the victim of stab wounds to his rib cage and upper back and was airlifted to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital from Canyon Moon Ranch, the location of the annual four-day country music festival. He reportedly underwent emergency surgery earlier today and has been described as being in critical condition.

Austin Hansen mugshot country thunder.jpg
Pinal County Sheriff's Office
Austin Hansen's mugshot
Pinal Country Sheriff's deputies arrested 20-year-old Austin Hansen in connection with the stabbing. He was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct and booked into a Pinal County jail. Per the Sheriff's Office website, Hansen was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Brian Andrews, producer of Country Thunder, told SanTanValley.com and other media outlets that while the safety of patrons is a "primary concern" for the concert's organizers, sometimes altercations and other incidents happen that are out of their control.

"The festival has become a city of over 22,000 people with 5,100 individual campsites being occupied. It is unfortunate that incidents of this nature take place, however in an event of this size, things happen that are outside of our control," Andrews says. "We work closely with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, as well as other law enforcement agencies to create the safest environment for our patrons."


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9 comments
Yvonne Basl
Yvonne Basl

That is just soo wrong ! I have been going to CT since 1988 ! Yes the 1st CT was held in Estrella Park. Shall I say the other country radio station was the sponsor (knix). There was no camping then. In fact Clint Black played @ Toolies Country bar on 43rd Ave & Thomas Rd Friday nite before CT started. Yes, it was only a 2 day event back then !And what a mess it was ! They had no ideal how many people would be there & so unplanned for the crowd. you parked in the desert ( during daylight). But after the sun went down & concerts were over...the hell began ! Not 1 light system in place... finding your car was out of the ??. Even if you hadn't had drink one LOL ! It has got so much bigger & better every year. Then to have an asshole go & screw up such an AWESOME event with little to no issues...is just sad ! These drunk , unable to handle their booze and still awake @ 5:30 am ?? Jerk needs to be removed from CT for ever ! As a mother of children from 39 to 11 yrs old & Grammie of 7 whom ages range from 12 yrs old to 1 wk old. I will always go to CT & take my family ! We feel very safe !! As a general rule people are all so kind & fun to be with. Of course you get the poor mannered & over drunk young punks who just don't give a damn. If their parents only knew what they were doing and how they act..they'd be shocked ! So all us CT fans need to let jerks (wkend want a be cowboys/cowgirls) know us true fans, country folks will NOT ALLOW this crap @ an event we plan for a year in advance !For many it's their vacation...for this jerk it was a time to be a real ass !!. Throw the book @ him ! I'd like to Thank all the officers out their keeping our families safe. A job well done !!!:)

oldsalty
oldsalty

i guess if you're a guy and you shave your eyebrows like supermodel and hang out at place called Country Thunder, you'd either have a gun, a knife, or tube of KY.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Why wasn't the Sheriff's department already on site. to keep order?  Was there a simply dazzeling pool party at Sheriff StudBoi's house that night?

teknik
teknik topcommenter

so you can stab someone and possibly kill them, and while that person's life hangs in balance you can just walk out of jail?


but if he would have had a joint on him.... 

TeaPublican
TeaPublican

Just waiting for some of the NewTimes regulars to post that they now favor the registration of knives!  And probly needing a permit to carry a knive.  And of course all knives must be locked up in the home.    Because all of them know....knives kill not people!

tomerlin79
tomerlin79

Who do you think u are now i understand that a guys life is on the line but come on he was picking a fight with a kid thats 16 years younger than him now austin did what we call self defens .look at the hole story before vou open yor mouth and start spitting venum out of it

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@TeaPublican Just stop for a moment and think about how different this outcome could have been had the assailant used a firearm at close range instead of a knife.  That charge of aggravated assault would likely be a murder charge now instead.  That doesn't mean I'm in favor of the current gun control proposals, but it does mean that I have no patience for dumb-ass comments like yours.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@TeaPublican No, it's just the rich heritage of red necks that comes into play here.

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