WB resident charged with stabbing deaf homeless man

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — City police Friday arrested Maurice Clinton Chapman on charges he stabbed a deaf homeless man in retaliation for ignoring plans to steal items from a store, according to court records.

Police allege Chapman, 28, of Dougher Lane, Wilkes-Barre, targeted Joseph Etzel in a wooded area near the South Street Bridge and the former Murray Complex on July 5.

Etzel was attacked in a tent and dragged outside, police said.

He suffered stab wounds to his head.

According to the criminal complaint:

Several people in the area told police they witnessed three people drag Etzel from a tent and assault him. One of the witnesses attempted to help Etzel, but a knife was held to his throat and he was told to mind his own business.

After the assault, the three men drove away in a Ford Crown Victoria.

Etzel was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center for his injuries.

The victim, who is deaf but able to read lips, claimed Chapman was mad at him because Chapman wanted him to steal items from a store July 4. Etzel said he refused Chapman’s pleas to steal because of previous incidents with police.

Chapman was arraigned by District Judge Richard Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.

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By Ed Lewis

[email protected]