PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh police said a 12-year-old boy was stabbed inside a McDonald’s in Downtown Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon.
Police said they arrested 51-year-old Charles Edward Turner in connection with the stabbing. He’s facing several charges, including criminal attempted homicide.
The child was transported to the hospital in critical condition. A criminal complaint states that a doctor upgraded his condition to stable. It also said a black and yellow box cutter was recovered from the scene and a piece of razor blade that broke off the box cutter was recovered where the stabbing happened.
“It’s really quite a tragic thing on a beautiful Saturday downtown,” said Cara Cruz, she’s the Deputy Public Information Officer for the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.
Police said the 12-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck inside McDonald’s on Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street just after 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Cruz said the child was standing in line with his family when the incident happened.
“He was with his family, he was standing in line, they had just zipped in for one quick thing,” Cruz said.
People walking in the busy downtown area were shocked and scared when they heard the news.
“I think it’s terrible that something like that can happen,” said Anthony Benson, who just moved to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia.
“We’re here all the time, people are here all the time, it’s scary, very scary and a child…that’s terrifying,” said Maggie Kishbaugh, a Duquesne University student.
Cruz said Turner was in line behind the child and his family. A criminal complaint states that a witness said Turner tackled the child from behind and then people tried to get him off and they noticed the child’s neck was slashed.
Documents also state that Turner resisted arrest by punching and kicking officers. Court documents said one officer had cuts on his face and two other victims had minor injuries.
Turner is charged with criminal attempted homicide, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, and resisting arrest.
He’s currently in the Allegheny County Jail.
Jerry Dean from Uniontown was downtown with his family when he saw the scene.
“I noticed there was a bunch of police cars here and as we were approaching it looked like they were bringing out a gentleman in handcuffs,” he said. “It’s scary. I have a 15, soon-to-be 16-year-old and I just thought what if she could have been in there getting something to drink or whatever.”
Cruz said when the boy was stabbed, employees tried to help.
“Two McDonald’s employees did try to intervene and help the child then police and EMS arrived on the scene,” Cruz said.
Cruz said police don’t believe the child and Turner knew each other. They also do not know if this was a random act.
“It just goes to show you, that you have to be very careful these days, wherever you are, wherever you go,” said Benson.
“I feel safe in this area so maybe now we shouldn’t feel as safe being around here, just more aware I guess,” said Kishbaugh.
The McDonald’s on Liberty Avenue is closed. There is a sign on the door that states they will open Sunday.