High-Rise Stabbing Suspect Reportedly Had Criminal PastBy Bob Allen

SPRINGDALE (KDKA) — A 73-year-old man has been taken into custody following a stabbing in a Springdale high-rise.

The sixth floor of the Springdale Manor high-rise was a bloody crime scene Friday night.

Charles Azim, 73, has been arrested for stabbing two elderly women and beating a third.

According to police, Azim got into an argument, telling neighbor Shirley Barone he didn’t want to eat.

When she responded saying she wouldn’t cook for him anymore, investigators say Azim stabbed the woman, and then chased her to Penelope Spencer’s apartment. Spencer was stabbed as well.

“The two of them went shopping and didn’t take him, and he got upset over that,” said Art Collins, a neighbor, “and whenever they came home, apparently that’s when he started running around stabbing people.”

Police say a third neighbor saw Azim with the knife and was punched as she ran away.

A few months ago, Springdale Police responded to a similar incident involving Azim at the same building.

Police had to use Tasers to subdue Azim who reportedly had several knives in his possession. He was taken away for an evaluation, but allowed back into the building.

KDKA has also learned that Azim has a criminal record for burglary, robbery and assault, and spent time in prison from 1977 to 2000. Last year, he was arrested for defiant trespass by police in Frazer Township.

“I’m surprised that he is living here with his criminal record,” Collins said.

Springdale Manor is owned by the Allegheny County Housing Authority, according to a spokesperson. The Housing Authority has a nationally-recognized applicant screening process.

Azim was in compliance with Housing Authority policies and procedures when he moved into the building.

“The county is supposed to afford us a safe environment, and they ain’t even coming close to that,” said Collins.

“We have to booby trap our doors to stay safe,” added Monica Haines, another neighbor.

1 In Custody, 3 Injured In Springdale High Rise Stabbing (6/27/14)
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