Man stabbed during fight in Warwick woods
Warwick police say they know their suspect in a slashing that took place at a homeless encampment on the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island early Tuesday morning. The 31 year old victim was treated for minor woiulnds on his arm, and released from the hospital.
Police tell NBC10 that as of Wednesday afternoon, the victim has vanished, and they can’t contact him. They expect to issue an arrest warrant for the 36 year old suspect shortly.
Colonel Stephen McCartney, the chief of the Warwick Police Department, says his officers were at the homeless camp last Friday, and told the 4 or 5 people there to move by Monday.
These days, he says, authorities can’t just bum rush the homeless people. He says his people use what he calls, a ‘softer’ approach. That means offering help and services, and taking a calm look at the situation.
“You can size up whether you are dealing with somebody who has a mental health problem, or is it a substance abuse problem where the person has just hit bottom and he has no resources or will to get himself out of his particular situation,” he tells NBC10. The last thing police want is a confrontation, especially when the mental stability of the subject I s questionable.
At the college, some students find the idea of homeless people camped out a little disconcerting. A student who goes by the name of ‘Johnny Dabz’ tells NBC10, “last night I left the campus around 9:30, and I was walking alone around the side of the building and there was no one there. It told me to watch out for hiding places, but I was susceptible to being attacked.”
There’s been no interaction reported between homeless people sleeping in the woods on campus, and any students. And incidents of encampments on campus seem to be limited to just two situations in the last year.