PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh police said a 12-year-old boy was stabbed inside a McDonald’s in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
Police said they arrested Charles Edward Turner, 51, in connection with the stabbing. He faces multiple charges, including attempted criminal murder.
The boy was taken to the hospital in critical condition. A criminal complaint claims that a doctor improved his condition to stable. He also said that a black and yellow box cutter was recovered from the scene and that a piece of razor blade was recovered that fell off the box cutter where the stabbing occurred.
“It’s really quite a tragic thing on a beautiful downtown Saturday,” said Cara Cruz, a public information noncommissioned officer for the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety.
Police said the 12-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck inside McDonald’s on Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street shortly after 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Cruz said the boy was in line with his family when the incident occurred.
“He was with his family, he was in line, they had just come in for a quick thing,” Cruz said.
People walking through the busy city center were shocked and scared upon hearing the news.
“I think it’s terrible that something like this could 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, it’s really scary and a kid… that’s scary,” said Maggie Kishbaugh, a student at Duquesne University.
Cruz said Turner was in line behind the boy and his family. A criminal complaint claims that a witness said Turner accosted the boy from behind and then people tried to remove him and noticed that the boy’s neck was cut.
The documents also state that Turner resisted arrest by punching and kicking the officers. Court documents say one officer had cuts to his face and two other victims had minor injuries.
Turner is charged with attempted criminal murder, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, and resisting arrest.
He is currently in the Allegheny County Jail.
Jerry Dean of Uniontown was downtown with his family when he saw the scene.
“I noticed there were a lot of police cars here and as we got closer it looked like they were pulling out a handcuffed gentleman,” he said. “It’s scary. I have a 15-year-old girl, who will soon be 16, and I thought what would happen if she had been there for a drink or whatever.”
Cruz said that when the boy was stabbed, employees tried to help.
“Two McDonald’s employees tried to intervene and help the boy, then the police and emergency medical services arrived on the scene,” Cruz said.
Cruz said police do not believe the boy and Turner know each other. They also don’t know if this was a random act.
“It just shows that you have to be very careful these days, wherever you are, wherever you go,” Benson said.
“I feel safe in this area, so maybe now we shouldn’t feel so safe being here, just more aware, I guess,” Kishbaugh said.
The McDonald’s on Liberty Avenue is closed. There is a sign on the door that says they will open on Sunday.