Veteran Marine attacked outside Galveston bar

Investigators said the marine was leaving the bar when the suspect ran across five lanes of traffic to attack him

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

A veteran Marine is in the hospital with 38 staples in his neck after being stabbed outside a Galveston bar on Saturday and investigators are still looking for the suspect.

"He came out of nowhere and started a confrontation with me," said Sgt. Philip McCulloch, USMC Ret.  "The bouncers broke it up and then he went outside to his car and got a knife."

Galveston police told Local 2 there is video surveillance from inside The Float Bar, located in the 2800 block of Seawall Boulevard that supports McCulloch's story.

Detectives released some images of the suspected stabber to Local 2, they are asking for the public's help in identifying him.  He was seen leaving the area in a two door teal colored car with black rims, a spoiler and loud muffler.

Investigators said McCulloch was leaving the bar when the suspect ran across five lanes of traffic to attack him.  More words were exchanged in the parking lot and punches were thrown, then McCulloch said he saw blood.

"I was stabbed in the neck up here and pulled it down to the front of my neck," he said.

His military background saved his life that day.  McCulloch instructed his friend how to stop the bleeding as he sat on some steps waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

"They were covering it up," he said.  "I kept telling them, 'You have to reach in there and grab the vein and squeeze and apply pressure, if not I'll bleed out.'"

McCulloch told Local 2 his longtime friend and Galveston resident, Kelly Lang, saved his life.

"He saved my life," McCulloch said. "He had never done anything like that before."

McCulloch medically retired from the Marines as a sergeant in April.  His family said he did three tours off duty and enlisted when he was just 17-years-old.

"He had his 18th birthday in boot camp," said his mother Theresa McCulloch.  "His 19th birthday was in Iraq for his first tour, 20th birthday was in Iraq on his second tour.  His 21st birthday was in the states and when he was 22 he went to Afghanistan."

Theresa proudly told Local 2 her son received two purple hearts and a silver star.  In 2011 he and his squad were attacked by enemy fighters during a six hour standoff with insurgent forces in Afghanistan.

"I didn't think I'd have to go through this anymore," she said.  "I thought he was home, I thought he was safe."

Theresa has been staying by her son's side in the hospital since the stabbing.

Their family is hopeful the suspected stabber will be caught quickly.

"This person needs to be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent."

Anyone with information on the suspected stabber is asked to call Galveston police at 409-765-3770 or Crime Stoppers at 409-763-TIPS for a possible cash reward.

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