CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man was jailed Monday after he allegedly stabbed another man in the hand in Clearfield Borough’s West Side.
Gary M. Murgash, 30, was charged by Officer David Hoover of the Clearfield Borough police with felony aggravated assault; two misdemeanor counts of simple assault; misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person; and one summary.
Murgash was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Pat Ford; unable to post $25,000 bail, he was housed in the Clearfield County Jail. Murgash is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 during centralized court.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township police responded to a reported stabbing at approximately 12:57 p.m. Monday in the area of Nichols and Weaver streets.
A witness told Clearfield County Dispatch that a man stabbed another man with a knife, then fled on foot toward the area of Turnpike Avenue.
Later, police learned the victim had been stabbed in his hand, and was being transported by ambulance to the Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital.
As officers from both departments arrived in the area, the witness flagged down Hoover. He identified the suspect as Murgash, who was known by the officer from previous incidents.
Hoover went to Murgash’s residence; however, he wasn’t there. When township officers went to the crime scene, witnesses said Murgash threw the knife into the weeds as he fled.
An officer then located the knife, which was used in the stabbing incident, lodged in the ground in the backyard of a residence on Nichols Street.
As they continued a search of the area for Murgash, borough officers proceeded to the hospital to speak with the victim and to check on his condition.
Hoover observed a laceration on the left hand between the victim’s thumb and index finger. It was about one-and-one-quarter inch in length; and his hand was cut to the bone, according to the affidavit.
Because Murgash was still at large, Hoover photographed the victim’s laceration and asked him to report to the police station for the purposes of an interview upon his discharge from the hospital.
Officers returned to the scene and took photographs of how the knife was found in the ground, as well as of blood observed on the sidewalk and porch steps.
While Hoover spoke with witnesses, he was directed to contact dispatch as soon as possible. The dispatcher said they had Murgash on the line, and he initially wouldn’t give his location.
Eventually, Murgash related that he was seated in front of a residence on Turnpike Avenue. Upon police arrival, contact was made and he was taken into custody without further incident.
During an interview with police, a witness said while he and the victim weren’t home, Murgash showed up at the residence screaming and kicking on the door.
He was asked to leave, which he did at the time. The witness said his wife was able to close and lock the door, and she called and notified him of the incident.
However, when the witness and victim returned, Murgash was reportedly seen waiting out front. The witness said he went inside and the victim went to the back porch to have a cigarette.
He said Murgash started yelling, but at some point, he walked out of view. Because they thought he’d left, the witness said he and the victim walked out to the shed in the backyard.
While they were inside the shed, the witness said Murgash showed back up yelling that he wanted his “grinder” back. He said he told Murgash to go home because he was being disrespectful.
He said he also told Murgash he’d return his tool the next day; however, Murgash continued to yell and in the victim’s face. He said Murgash then “took a swing” at the victim, but he moved to avoid being hit.
He said the victim pushed Murgash, which caused him to fall down. After this, he said Murgash left but came back to the property about three minutes later.
This time he said Murgash “thrusted” a knife toward the victim’s face. However, he said the victim put his left hand up to block the knife, which caused the laceration. Then, Murgash fled.
The victim was interviewed by police and corroborated the witness’ story. He also said he “stood up” to Murgash because he showed up yelling, and this was upsetting children inside the residence.
In his interview, Murgash said he was upset because he wanted his grinder back that was in the witness’ truck. He claimed he used the knife to defend himself by holding it out in front of him.
Murgash also claimed that the victim ran toward the knife and slid his hand down the blade. He proceeded to demand for an attorney, so police terminated the questioning.