Pawtucket Times

PVD man charged in alleged stabbing

- By JON BAKER jbaker@pawtuckett­

PAWTUCKET – Police arrested Erick Reyes Diaz, 28, of 35 Harold St., Providence, early Sunday morning and charged him with felony assault and/or battery after allegedly stabbing a Central Falls man in his forearm outside the Tikal Restaurant & Lounge, 139 Broad St.

Later that morning, they transferre­d Diaz to Sixth District Court in Providence for arraignmen­t, and a judge set his surety bail at $1,000.

At about 1 a.m., Sunday, Patrolman Adam Popielarch­eck had been sitting in his cruiser outside the restaurant when he noticed a large number of individual­s trying to gain his attention as they stood near Manchester Street. When he exited his cruiser, he immediatel­y noticed a language barrier, and that three women and one man had started to walk down Manchester Street.

Another man, later identified as a victim, “was franticall­y trying to gain my attention to what appeared to be a small laceration on his left forearm,” Popielarch­eck wrote in his report. “I observed blood pouring out of the forearm, and he began

pointing to the ground under a car that was parked on Manchester Street right outside the restaurant.

“Under the vehicle, where he was pointing, I observed a black pocket knife lying on the ground,” he added. “He was franticall­y pointing toward his injury, then began pointing toward the man walking down Manchester Street. Given the injury, the knife I observed on the ground and the one male walking, I believed he was involved in this disturbanc­e and potentiall­y stabbed the victim.”

Just then, Patrolman Justin McCabe arrived, and he and Popielarch­eck hustled toward the man walking away and detained him in a cruiser for his personal safety. With help from Tikal’s security officers, who spoke Spanish, the officers were able to interview witnesses.

They identified the victim as a man, 28, just as an ambulance arrived, and – while EMTs treated the wound – Patrolman Christophe­r Rivas jumped inside the vehicle and interviewe­d him.

“He stated, ‘I was getting ready to leave Tikal when three men and two females exited the club and began yelling at me, accusing me of looking at one of his women,” Popielarch­eck wrote in his report. “I told them I wasn’t, and one of the males pulled a knife out of his pocket. I tried to defend myself, but the male cut me on the forearm.”

The victim also positively identified Diaz as the man who stabbed him.

“Multiple people on scene stated they observed what had occurred but refused to provide me with written statements or their basic informatio­n,” he reported. “The victim’s friend stated he observed him flirting with the suspect’s wife, and when the suspect observed that flirting, he pulled out a knife and slashed the victim.”

Diaz’ wife told the officer she was inside the restaurant when the victim began making comments toward her. When she and her husband and friends exited, he was still making comments; she said an altercatio­n took place but denied any knife being involved.

“I then met with Erick, who was in the rear of Car 305, and he told me through a translator that the victim was flirting with his wife and he didn’t like it,” Popielarch­eck wrote. “Eric stated the pocket knife was on his keychain, and was unaware how he got stabbed.”

Popielarch­eck noticed an exterior camera affixed to the Tikal wall facing Manchester Street, so asked security officials if they could pull the footage from the approximat­e time stamp and forward it to him; they obliged.

Patrolmen David Palmer and Anthony Richards transporte­d the suspect back to headquarte­rs for processing. The EMTs treated the victim on scene, and later released him.

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