Former U.S. Slalom Team member and Potomac River Festival organizer Jason Beakes is used to slashing his way through his backyard’s Great Falls of the Potomac. But he was on the receiving end of such a slash at a party held at his house to celebrate this year’s festival July 4-6.
According to a story posted on NBCwashington.com, Beakes was slashed in the face Saturday night, July 5, by man who had crashed the party at Beakes’ home in Poolesville.
Last year, the festival, which regularly lures some of the nation’s best kayakers to the Potomac, was in the national spotlight after a kayaker died during a training run, prompting a heroic rescue effort. This year, attention came to Beakes himself, who is recovering from the wound on his face suffered during the attack.
According to the interview, Beakes, the president of festival sponsor Active Nature, was attacked after telling a party crasher to tone things down. The guy disappeared, Beakes said, and returned shortly later and attacked him. “He appeared out of nowhere, and just walked right up and said nothing and slashed me with a knife,” Beakes told NBCwashington.com. “I turned just as he was slashing at me. I saw a short blade flash.”
The report says that police arrested Gerald Ewald nearby, who was being charged with first degree assault.
After Paddling Life heard back from Beakes, things had changed.
“The cops arrested the wrong suspect and I’m helping detectives track down the right guy,” he says.
But it takes more than that to slow a guy like Beakes down. After getting sewn up, he’s already back on the water.
“The festival was a huge success and really put paddling in the spotlight in a positive way,” says Beakes. “I’m healing up fine but I’ll have a good scar.”
“Besides, chicks dig scars,” he adds. “At least I hope Patricia does because this scar is here to stay.”
Watch interview video HERE