PITTSBURGH — Police said a 12-year-old boy was stabbed at a McDonalds’ restaurant in Downtown Pittsburgh just after 2 p.m. Saturday.
Investigators said it happened at the store on Liberty Avenue.
Charles Edward Turner, 51, of Pittsburgh was arrested and charged with attempted homicide, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Allegheny County Jail.
Turner was denied bail during a hearing Tuesday morning, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office.
Channel 11 has learned the victim is a student in the Fox Chapel Area School District.
Police said a family of four was standing in line when a man tackled the child from behind and stabbed the boy in the neck. Family members immediately tried to get Turner off the child and struggled to restrain him.
As one family member helped the injured boy another continued to hold Turner down, who pushed back biting him and causing him to bleed.
Two McDonald’s employees tried to intervene and help the child before police and EMS arrived, officials said. The boy was rushed to the hospital for treatment in critical condition. His condition was upgraded to stable Sunday morning.
Police said there is no indication that the victim and the suspect knew each other.
After the incident, Turner was found outside pacing back-and-forth and yelling racial slurs, before going back into the restaurant. The criminal complaint says family members tried to question Turner, who told them “he only wanted to finish his coffee and then leave the restaurant.”
He became combative with police, punching and kicking officers during his arrest. During the investigation police recovered a box cutter at the scene.
This is not the first time a violent incident occurred at a Downtown McDonald’s. In Nov. 2019, several people were charged in connection with a violent fight that started inside the restaurant on Wood Street and spilled outside. A couple got into an argument with another man, an employee threw a punch and chaos erupted. A man was left unconscious and a woman was pepper-sprayed during the melee.
Weeks before that incident, a man was shot in the leg outside that same McDonald’s location after an argument.
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Pittsburgh police have confirmed they are consulting with federal authorities to see if hate crime charges are warranted.