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DENVER — A customer at a popular Denver restaurant was stabbed in the neck Tuesday afternoon and the suspect was captured and in custody Wednesday night, the Denver Police Department said.

Business owners and neighbors in the Highlands area were stunned to learn of the vicious attack at Mead Street Station. Many of them witnessed paramedics applying pressure to the victim’s neck as that person was rushed out of the restaurant and into an ambulance.

Police said a man walked into the restaurant, stabbed the customer in the neck and ran away.

“All of the business owners were standing out, looking around — checking things out,” neighboring business owner Kristen Toscano said. “This is our street, our community. We take care of our people.”

Bystanders couldn’t understand the violence in a neighborhood they consider safe and family-friendly.

“It was definitely a big shock,” said Ryan Soriano, who works in the area. “That kind of activity doesn’t ever happen here.”

Police and paramedic activity filled an entire block of West 32nd Avenue near Lowell Boulevard just as the afternoon rush was starting.

“They had [the victim] pinned down, straight down,” Toscano said. “[Paramedics] loaded him up and took him away.”

The restaurant was forced to close as crime scene investigators spent hours inside collecting evidence.

There was no word of a motive. The condition of the victim has not been released.

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