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PITTSBURGH, PA – In an alleged case of racially-motivated violence, police arrested a black man at a Pittsburgh McDonald’s on Sunday after they say he tackled a 12 year-old white child and stabbed him in the neck, all the while yelling racist slurs, reports say.
According to witnesses, Charles Edward Turner, 51, allegedly tackled the child from behind – without any apparent provocation – and then slashed him in the neck with a box cutter as bystanders attempted to pull the suspect off of the victim. Turner, police say, then began to fight with the bystanders, injuring one with scrapes to their forehead while biting another on the bicep.
The 12 year-old victim, who reportedly had entered the restaurant to purchase food for a diabetic family member who was experiencing low blood sugar at the time, was rushed to a local area hospital in critical condition; he is currently stable, officials say.
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Police arrived just minutes later at 2:20 p.m., and within moments Turner was fighting with them as well, reports say.
Throughout his rampage witnesses say Turner repeatedly used vile and racist language, calling bystanders, McDonald’s employees, and police slurs such as “white devils,” “rapists,” “white satan,” and “white n***ers.”
Witnesses interviewed at the scene also said that after the attack, Turner had been pacing outside of the restaurant while yelling racial slurs, and then returned inside moments before police arrived. Officials recovered the box cutter allegedly used in the attack at the scene.
Turner was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, and one count each of resisting arrest, criminal attempt homicide and possessing instruments of crime – possession of a weapon. He is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail.
It is currently unknown if the attack was random, or if Turner has acquired the services of an attorney yet.