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PORTLAND A man was stabbed in a fight with other homeless men under the Burnside Bridge early Saturday morning, police said.

After scouring the area and speaking with dozens of witness who were huddled in sleeping bags in the area where many of Portland's homeless sleep, detectives pieced together the events that led to the stabbing.

Just before 4 a.m., 39-year-old Bryce Carlton Powers (pictured right), who is homeless, got

in a fight with several other transients. One of the men then stabbed Powers who then stumbled off and collapsed in the middle of the street on Southwest Naito Parkway near Southwest Ankeny Street, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland police.

Police first thought Powers had been hit by a car when they found him lying in the street. Paramedics rushed Powers to the hospital where he was slowly improving after it first looked like he might die, Simpson said.

Detectives said the men knew each other and were working to track down the assailants. Naito Parkway was closed in both directions from Northwest Couch Street to Southwest Ankeny Street.

When you have a situation like this, you have somebody stabbed and critically wounded, it generates a lot of fear in the homeless community and it makes it unsafe for people to sleep in that area, Simpson said.

Police closed off the area under the Burnside Bridge near the Skidmore Fountain to overnight campers. Police said they were working with social services to find alternatives for those who sleep in the area.

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