WHITAKER, Pa. — Police were called to a convenience store in Whitaker Borough after the owner was stabbed Monday morning by a man who works for Whitaker Borough Public Works, officials said.
Investigators said the stabbing happened around 11 a.m. at Lizzie’s Dairy on Whitaker Street.
Officers said the victim had a deep slash to his neck. He was taken to an area hospital and has since been released, returning to work Tuesday. According to a criminal complaint, had the slash been a fraction of an inch deeper, the man would have died.
Authorities said the victim walked out of his store with his handyman when a Whitaker Borough Public Works truck pulled up. Duane Burgwin, 59, got out of the passenger side and started yelling at the handyman, the complaint said.
The handyman told Channel 11’s Liz Kilmer on Tuesday that Burgwin might have been upset with him for not starting a job.
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When the store owner tried to intervene, police said Burgwin yelled, “I’m going to slice you” and stabbed him in the neck.
After the stabbing, Burgwin got back into the truck and allegedly said, “I can’t go back to jail,” the complaint said.
At some point after that, Burgwin stabbed himself in the arm and was taken to a hospital in serious condition, police said.
Burgwin is charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
Lizzie’s Dairy customers said they’re relieved the store’s owner is OK.
“Wow! I just can’t believe that would happen up here. Plus, he’s a really nice guy. I know he does a lot of stuff for a lot of people, helps out a lot of families. Didn’t deserve it, that’s for sure,” Jose Mani, a customer, said.
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