LAYTON — A West Valley City man is in jail on an attempted murder charge after a verbal fight led to an alleged stabbing on Tuesday in Layton.

Michael Ray Mendoza, 32, is being held at the Davis County Jail on one count of attempted murder, a second-degree felony. He was booked into jail Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., according to jail booking records.

The case began when police responded to a hit-and-run crash on Main Street in Layton around 5:30 a.m. Monday and found the suspected vehicle nearby near the intersection of Gentile Street and Main Street, according to charging documents. Police found “a large amount of blood” inside the vehicle. Minutes later police discovered that the driver was in the emergency room of the Davis Hospital and being treated for two stab wounds to his chest.

While police were responding to the hospital, they found an “intoxicated” man walking around near where the suspected hit-and-run vehicle was found. They later discovered the man they were talking to had the same address that the car was registered.

The man, whom police say is Mendoza, was then searched by police, who allegedly found a bloody knife in his pocket. They also allegedly found a “large amount of blood” on Mendoza’s arm and in his pants that did not appear to be his own, according to charging documents.

Police interviewed the victim’s friends and family at the hospital. The victim’s wife said that the victim and Mendoza left the victim’s residence around 4 a.m. after a New Year’s Eve party at the home. She awoke on the morning of Jan. 1 to phone calls saying her husband was stabbed, according to charging documents.

After being treated at Davis Hospital, the victim was flown via helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City in critical condition. He spoke with police and allegedly told then he was stabbed by “Michael Mendoza,” charging documents say. He said that he and Mendoza were arguing about something before Mendoza allegedly stabbed him with a silver-bladed knife. At one point Mendoza allegedly held the knife to the man’s throat but was able to get away, the victim told police.

Mendoza was later interviewed by police where he allegedly said he did not remember getting into any arguments at the party or after. He was taken into police custody shortly after.

As of Wednesday morning, the victim is known to be in critical but stable condition, according to Lt. Travis Lyman with the Layton Police Department.

Mendoza is being held at the Davis County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash bail, according to jail records.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

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