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Mar. 25 2021, Updated 2:41 p.m. ET

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A 12-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck inside a Pennsylvania McDonald’s and rushed to the hospital in critical condition, police said. 

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Cara Cruz, the Deputy Public Information Officer for the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department, said the child was standing in line in the fast-food restaurant with his family around 2 p.m. March 20. 

“They had just zipped in for one quick thing,” Cruz said, according to KDKA. “It’s really quite a tragic thing on a beautiful Saturday downtown” in Pittsburgh.

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Charles Edward Turner, 51, was behind the child when he suddenly tackled him, a criminal complaint states. 

The boy’s family members tried to restrain Turner, who allegedly bit one person struggling to hold him down, police said.

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The criminal complaint notes when the victim’s family questioned why the suspect allegedly attacked, he told them “he only wanted to finish his coffee and then leave the restaurant.” 

Two McDonald’s employees also tried to intervene in the scuffle and help the child in the minutes before police and EMS arrived on the scene, Cruz said.

Turner allegedly punched and kicked responding officers, and a box cutter was found at the scene, WPXI reported.

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Authorities said they do not believe the suspect and victim knew each other.

“We’re here all the time, people are here all the time,” Maggie Kishbaugh told KDKA. “It’s scary, very scary and a child…that’s terrifying.”

Turner faces charges of attempted homicide, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, resisting arrest and possession of an instrument of crime.

On March 23, a judge denied the stabbing suspect bail, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney.

The child’s condition was upgraded to stable condition the day after the stabbing.


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