Workers, visitors stress over safety after 4th Street Live! throat slashing

Sean Coats, 37, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and one count of attempted murder.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Workers and visitors of 4th Street Live! discussed safety Tuesday afternoon, hours after a man was arrested and accused of cutting two men’s throats early Tuesday morning.

Sean Coats, 37, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and one count of attempted murder.

The attack happened just after midnight Tuesday.

Arrest paperwork shows Coats identified himself on security video and admitted to attacking both men from behind, using a knife to cut their throats.

The paperwork also shows Coats told officers he was “coming down off a stimulant high.”

Tuesday afternoon WAVE News talked to several people at 4th Street Live!, to ask their opinions on safety in the area.

“[It’s] good atmosphere, food, drinks and stuff like that,” Asha Moorman said. “You know, they have concerts down here too. I mean, so we’re looking at it like it’s a place to just go hang out and let everything go, right? And it’s safe, that’s what you would think.”

One man who works as a server at a 4th Street Live! restaurant had a different point of view.

The man, who wanted to go only by his first name Billy, said he is often the first line of defense for his customers against unruly strangers.

“As far as security goes, it’s just a lot of homeless and a lot of just problem people coming up and down through here, you know what I mean,” Billy said. “It seems like it’s an every day issue when we’re having to shoo someone off or call security on someone where we can’t even get them to leave the restaurant.”

Several other people who denied on-camera interviews told WAVE News one of the victims was in town from out of state for a work conference.

While the incident may be isolated and uncommon, Louisville Metro Council President David James told WAVE News it’s indicative of bigger problems downtown, namely homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness.

“Mental health throughout our city, throughout our state, is something that really has to be addressed,” James said. “And what that’s going to look like, I don’t know from the state level, but cities and counties definitely need some assistance.”

James told WAVE News Metro Council is planning a special meeting next week to discuss an ordinance related to homelessness and mental health in the city.

Meantime, a Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson told WAVE News the department will increase visibility in the area in the coming days.

That same spokesperson also told WAVE News the situation could’ve ended much differently had a military man not been at the scene to immediately render aid to the victims.

One of the victims has been released from the hospital, while the other remains at the hospital in serious condition.