A fight between two drunken transients over a stray dog turned violent when one stabbed the other with a knife, a Petaluma police lieutenant said Wednesday.

The fight occurred late Tuesday afternoon along Petaluma Boulevard South.

Officers arrested Robert Sommer, 52, at Wickersham Park after the 4:45 p.m. incident, Corporal Brian Miller said.

Frederick Dutter, 56, told officers he had been caring for a dog he found but it had gone missing. The fight started after Sommer told Dutter he had found the dog and it was now his, said Lt. Tim Lyons.

The verbal exchange became a struggle, with Sommer armed with a knife and Dutter armed with a stick.

Dutter suffered three slashes to his torso and arms. He was treated by Petaluma fire paramedics but refused further medical treatment.

Police said the dog apparently went with the victim, who was released at the scene after getting medical aid.

The two men are longtime Petaluma transients and are well known to police officers, Lyons said.

Alcohol apparently played a role. Dutter's blood alcohol was .21 and Sommer's was .24, indicating both were extremely intoxicated.

Officers arrested Sommer on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and he was taken to the Sonoma County Jail where he remained Wednesday morning in lieu of $20,000 bail.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.