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Wounded Man Gets Gifts, Offer Of Free Legal Help

March 31, 1988

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) _ A house painter who was stabbed when he tried to help a woman he thought was being raped has received gifts of food and money and offers of a job.

Tom Botsford, 27, has also gotten phone calls offering him encouragement and a check, accompanied by a short letter that said, ″You qualify to get to heaven.″

Most importantly, Botsford said, the admirers have rebuilt his morale.

Botsford was stabbed March 5 after he tried to break up a dispute between a man and woman outside his apartment building.

Botsford, who said he thought the woman was being raped, was stabbed by the man three times. Authorities said there was not enough evidence to charge Botsford’s attacker.

Botsford has no insurance to cover his medical bills, and his pregnant wife, Cecelia, is not working. He is not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Almost four weeks after he was stabbed in his shoulder and abdomen, Botsford still groans with pain when he pushes himself up from the couch.

But since his story appeared March 15 in The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Botsford’s wounds - and his pride - have started to heal.

Admirers have sent $170, and one man offered him a sales job. Another note said, ″Give me a ring if you can’t get a job.″

An anonymous writer said, ″I appreciate your efforts to help. I hope someone like you is around if one of my daughters are ever in trouble.″

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