A 12-year-old boy was in stable condition Sunday after being stabbed by a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Downtown on Saturday.
Charles Edward Turner, 51, of West Oakland was arrested on charges including attempted homicide in an incident Pittsburgh police described as showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
It was unclear if the stabbing was random or planned. According to police, the boy was stabbed in the neck inside the McDonald’s at Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street near Market Square around 2 p.m. Officers Ross Small, Harry Siwik and Steve Harris sustained injuries during the arrest. David Lewandowski and Henry Seifried, employees at McDonalds’s, also were injured.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Turner fought with officers as they tried to arrest him. The complaint alleges that Mr. Turner used racial slurs against officers, patrons and employees during his arrest and bit one of the witnesses.
Mr. Turner also is charged with four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and resisting arrest.
Cara Cruz, a public safety spokeswoman, told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news partner KDKA-TV the child was with his family when the incident occurred.
“He was with his family. He was standing in line, they had just zipped in for one quick thing,” she said. “Two McDonald’s employees did try to intervene and help the child.”
Ms. Cruz said police don’t believe the boy and Mr. Turner knew each other, KDKA reported.
In the criminal complaint, a witness told police that Mr. Turner tackled the child from behind. As people tried to pull Mr. Turner away they noticed the child’s neck was slashed.
An officer had cuts on his face and two other victims had minor injuries, the complaint said.
“Medics observed the officers and the employees at the scene, but that they did not require treatment or to be transported to the hospital,” said Ms. Cruz.
A black and yellow box cutter knife was found at the scene. The blade was broken, and police said a bloodied, broken piece was recovered where the stabbing took place.
According to court documents, Mr. Turner has a criminal history in the county dating back to 1987. He has been arrested multiple times throughout the years for aggravated assault, aggravated harassment by a prisoner and simple assault.
Mr. Turner was being held at the Allegheny County Jail. As of Sunday afternoon, Mr. Turner was still awaiting his arraignment hearing.
First Published March 20, 2021, 3:39pm