October 31, 2014

Elyria
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Two stabbed in Elyria brawl

ELYRIA — A bloody brawl Wednesday between two Elyria men — one wielding a knife, the other a baseball bat — sent both to a Cleveland hospital with stab wounds.

CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
LifeCare personnel treat a stabbing victim on Gates Avenue in Elyria on Wednesday.

Police said they were still trying to determine what sparked the fight between Christopher Chafin, 25, and an  Elyria man who was inside Chafin’s home on Gates Avenue.

Both men were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where Chafin was in fair condition late Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police are withholding the name of the other man, a 42-year-old Elyria man, because he’s the primary suspect in the incident and likely will be charged with felonious assault and tampering with evidence, Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said.

While the hospital would not provide the unnamed man’s medical condition, police said his injuries included a cut to the hand and an unknown number of blows to the head from a baseball bat.

Chafin was inside his home when the 42-year-old man showed up at the front door shortly before 1:20 p.m., an Elyria police report said.

It was unknown if Chafin and the man knew each other, the report said, but at some point a disagreement broke out. Chafin went to the back of the home and retrieved a baseball bat, while the other man took a knife from the kitchen and began pursuing Chafin, the report said.

Christopher Harrold, 20, said he was nearby when he heard a woman yelling, “They’re stabbing him, they’re stabbing him!” and, “Go help him!”

CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
An Elyria officer recovers a knife from the scene of the stabbings Wednesday.

Harrold said when he approached Chafin’s home, both men were inside. The much smaller Chafin had his back against the porch door and was wiggling around, Harrold said.

Harrold said he called 911, but before police arrived Chafin and the suspect — who was about twice the size of Chafin’s 150-pound frame — made their way to the front porch and then the front lawn.

“Chris was bleeding. … He was leaking blood on his hair, his arms,” Harrold said. “Chris was really talking (expletive) to him, saying,
‘You can’t whip me, even with a knife.’ ”

The suspect hopped on a bicycle and pedaled west on Gates Avenue, toward Middle Avenue.

“He acted like he didn’t even care,” Harrold said. “He just rode away and didn’t get far at all.”

The suspect was stopped on his bicycle by police about a block from the scene as he came to Middle Avenue, said Shatika Hollice, 29, who also was nearby during the commotion.

“He said, ‘I just been robbed,’ ” Hollice said. “He was covered in blood. He got off the bike and sat down.”

LifeCare paramedics arrived on scene and treated the suspect and Chafin, who was still on the porch of his Gates Avenue home.

Both men later were flown to the Cleveland hospital.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.