Florida Keys

Police now know who ‘Carlito’ is. And they want him in a Key West stabbing

Pavel Martinez Ruiz
Pavel Martinez Ruiz Key West Police Department

Key West police have identified a suspect in Saturday’s double-stabbing at Mallory Square.

Pavel Martinez Ruiz, 43, who is nicknamed “Carlito,” is wanted on a felony warrant for aggravated battery in the case of two men who were wounded.

Police on Thursday described Ruiz as five-foot-eight with a thin build.

Ruiz is accused of stabbing Carroll Jordan in the abdomen, causing enough damage for Jordan to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. Police said this week that he was in stable condition.

Terry Backus was stabbed in the head and arm during the incident, which police said began when Ruiz sucker-punched Kenneth Fleming in the head, knocking him to the ground. Jordan and Backus tried to intervene when Ruiz allegedly pulled a knife from his backpack.

Police arrived at Mallory Square at 7:24 p.m. Saturday. The stabbing took place in the city’s “panhandling zone,” which is a legal spot for public begging.

A police officer said he knew the suspect from prior dealings and produced an image from his body camera which the victims identified as the attacker.

Anyone with information on Ruiz’s whereabouts should call the police at 305-809-1000 or Crime Stoppers at 866-471-8477.