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Cops: Greensburg man stabbed driver giving him ride home from club |

Cops: Greensburg man stabbed driver giving him ride home from club

| Monday, June 4, 2018 12:12 p.m

A 49-year-old Greensburg man was ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison Monday after police said he stabbed a man who was giving him a ride home from a Greensburg after-hours club early Sunday.

The incident began after a group of people left the Young Voter’s Club on Madison Avenue.

Vernon E. Barnhart Jr. was arraigned on charges filed by city police of aggravated assault, simple assault, possessing instruments of crime, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Detective Sgt. John Swank reported that the victim, Eric Barton, was treated for stab wounds after the 3:48 a.m. incident.

Barnhart and another man asked Barton for a lift home from the club, but during the drive “Barnhart began making inappropriate comments toward” a woman who was with Barton, Swank said.

Barton pulled over at the corner of Ludwick Street and Jefferson Avenue and demanded Barnhart get out of the vehicle, police said.

“Barton then opened the rear door …. Barnhart removed a knife from his pocket and stabbed Barton in his leg multiple times,” Swank reported in court documents.

Police said Barton got back in his car and drove off, while Barnhart fled on foot and called police to complain that he was assaulted by Barton.

Barnhart was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg for treatment of bruises and a laceration to his head.

Barton was subsequently located by police in his car with the woman. He was taken to the same hospital.

“A large pool of blood was observed on the driver’s floor of (Barton’s) vehicle. A portion of muscle was observed to be protruding from one of the leg wounds,” Swank wrote in court documents.

Swank reported Barnhart began arguing with police when he was placed under arrest at the hospital. In addition to Barnhart’s knife, which Swank said had blood on it, police confiscated a marijuana pipe and a small amount of marijuana from Barnhart.

District Judge Chris Flanigan scheduled Barnhart’s preliminary hearing for June 21.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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