EXCLUSIVE: Man survives stabbing inside Double B’s BBQ restaurant

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A man who survived a stabbing attack inside Double B's BBQ restaurant spoke exclusively with FOX6 News on Thursday, March 21st -- and said he believes a rosary may have helped save his life.

Tony Ortiz was just about to head home after his shift at Double B's BBQ on March 9th, when a man came at him in the basement of the restaurant.

"Right when he was coming at me he said 'you`re my enemy.' He said 'you`re my enemy' and that`s when he penetrated right here into my upper abdomen," Ortiz said.

The man allegedly responsible for the attack is Jared Larson.

"I grabbed hold of the knife with my hand, which initially sliced me, but what did more damage is when I grabbed the grip from his hand and pulled it and threw it aside and ran up the stairs and called for my boss," Ortiz said.

Ortiz describes the knife his attacker used as longer than a kitchen knife, and about as wide as a spatula.

Fortunately, the knife didn't cut too deeply into his stomach -- partly because it got caught in his rosary.

"It's just pretty, you know, just -- thank God," Ortiz said.

Even though doctors say the physical damage will heal, Ortiz still gets worked up thinking about his kids, and what could have happened.

Larson made his first court appearance for the stabbing on Thursday. He has been charged with endangering safety (a felony).

"I want the proper channels taken for this man to get rehabilitated in his mind and mental state -- not to be used as an excuse. He knows right from wrong. My son knows right from wrong," Ortiz said.

West Allis police caught Larson so quickly because Ortiz's boss pretended to have a weapon and scared Larson into staying in the basement until police arrived.