ROCKLAND — An argument over white supremacist tattoos led to a stabbing that nearly killed a man, according to police.

Mark McCrillis, 35, of Jay was arrested Thursday and charged with elevated aggravated assault.

Rockland police Officer Addison Cox was credited with saving the victim’s life by applying a tourniquet to the man’s arm.

Officers responded at 8 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a fight near the intersection of Pacific and Lawrence streets, according to an affidavit filed in court by Rockland police.

When officers arrived, they found a large amount of blood in the middle of the road and two people saying the victim was in a Pacific Street residence and they were afraid he was going to die.

Emergency medical services personnel were called, but before they arrived Cox applied a tourniquet to the man’s arm. An artery in the man’s arm had been severed by a bottle that was broken when McCrillis smashed it over the victim’s head, according to the affidavit.

The victim was taken first to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and then to Maine Medical Center in Portland. He was suffering from minor bleeding in his brain as well as the serious injury to his arm.

Doctors said that the man would likely have died if the officer had not acted so quickly, according to Rockland Deputy Police Chief Chris Young.

According to the affidavit, the victim is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist group. McCrillis told the victim he was a member of the Aryan Nation, but an argument broke out when McCrillis could not show he had the tattoos associated with the group.

The victim and his woman friend had met McCrillis at a local bar and they all planned on coming to the Pacific Street residence.

McCrillis is being held at the Knox County Jail in Rockland. District Court Judge Paul Mathews set bail Friday at $5,000 cash as recommended by Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody. The prosecutor cited the seriousness of the offense as well the criminal record of McCrillis, who has three prior assault convictions, the last one in 2010.

Defense attorney for the day William Pagnano asked for bail to be set at $500 cash, pointing out that McCrillis has had a steady job for four years as an insulation installer, has a 3-year-old child, and also cares for a disabled parent.

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