Sadly, we all woke up this morning to the news that yet another violent incident occurred last night in the Gayborhood. This time it happened on the small stretch of Camac Street between Spruce and Locust, where a man stabbed an off-duty cop and a bartender as they were leaving Venture Inn. To get a better idea of what happened, I talked to bar manager Henry Brinton, who was working when the incident occured.
According to Brinton, the cop, a 49-year-old officer who’s been on the force for 19 years, popped into the bar to watch a comedy show. At around 11:30 p.m., the cop and 10-year Venture Inn bartender Thomas Miguel Martinez stepped outside, where they were confronted by a man whom Brinton had seen hanging around the neighborhood lately.
The man began harassing the pair, when the cop told him to take a walk. “The [perpetrator] told him to go fuck himself,” says Brinton. “They had more words, then the man started swinging. That’s when [Martinez] stepped in to break it up.”
The assailant pulled out a knife and cut Martinez under the chin. The cop was stabbed three times — twice in the stomach and once in the leg. At that point the perpetrator ran away, and the victims went inside to clean up.
“That’s when they noticed how bad it was,” says Brinton, “and they went right over to [Thomas Jefferson University Hospital].” From there, the police officer was shipped to Jefferson to be treated. Martinez was released with eight stitches.
According to news reports, police have identified the perpetrator, and found the weapon. Philadelphia Gay News reports that “The stabbing follows reports of at least two knifepoint robberies last month in the vicinity. In both, the attacker struck from behind with his left arm and held a knife to the victims’ throat to demand their belongings.”