Man arrested after alleged racially motivated knife attack in Downtown Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Police arrested a man after two people were stabbed downtown late Thursday. The attack was racially motivated, according to court documents.

Pittsburgh Police were called Downtown to 6th Avenue between Smithfield Street and Coffey Way Thursday night just before 11:00 for a double stabbing.

Chris Boswell, 37, from New Brighton is now in custody after police say he stabbed two Black men, one in the arm and one in the thigh.

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“Kind of unbelievable,” said Downtown worker Morgan Young, reacting to the news.

“It’s terrible,” added Michael Evans. “The town has become like it’s not Downtown anymore. I don’t know what to say.”

People were shocked to learn the attack was racially motivated.

Boswell, according to the police report, told officers, “I was told to kill all of the Black people. … I stabbed those n-words. They deserve to die.”

“That’s society right there, the racist overtones and things of that nature,” said Evans. “We just have to pray and ask God for a little more sensitivity in the world.”

This is just the latest incident in a Downtown area that has been plagued by ongoing crime and violence.

On Thursday, 11 News reported on drug syringes, trash, and even apparent human waste being found at Mellon Square Park.

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Last week, the owners of Downtown staple, Wiener World, admitted to 11 News they’re considering shutting down due to the nearby crime.

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Friday, people said they’re afraid to venture Downtown after dark.

“I don’t feel that safe walking. Good thing it’s daylight,” said Young. “If it was dark out, I would not be out right now.”

“It’s terrible coming down after 5 or 6 o’clock. It just seems the businesspeople go away and we have more of an influx of homeless people or people who are destroying this city,” said Michael Brinker.

Because of the racial component of the attack, Boswell is facing two counts of ethnic intimidation, in addition to aggravated assault and other charges.

He was arraigned Friday afternoon and denied bond.

He’s due back in court on April 25.

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