Boderick Barnville underwent surgery after the knife struck a major artery in his arm. and Maureen Tkacik A University maintenance worker was stabbed in the arm, allegedly by a homeless man, near the busy campus intersection of 38th and Spruce streets Friday morning, authorities and witnesses said. Facilities Services employee Broderick Barnville, 31, underwent surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania shortly after the 7:15 a.m. incident because the knife struck a major artery, police said. He was released Saturday morning. University Police arrested a suspect for the stabbing. As of last night it was unclear whether the Philadelphia Police Department's Southwest Detectives Bureau released him after questioning. Surveillance cameras at the Wawa convenience store caught the suspect on videotape, police said. Police described the suspect as a 6' black male in his 30s with a medium build, medium complexion, thin mustache and a balding head. He wore a long beige coat and dark pants and was last seen walking south on 38th Street from the intersection after the alleged attack. A woman who works at a food truck across the street said Friday that the suspect could possibly be a homeless man who is known as "Mumbles" to employees and police because he does not speak but often mutters profanities under his breath. But several University Police officers said they doubted that "Mumbles" was indeed the suspect, because images from the videotape did not match his description. According to police, Barnville was inside the Wawa visiting a female employee of the store witnesses said is his girlfriend. The altercation allegedly began when Barnville told the manager that he saw the man try to steal a pack of cigarettes, witnesses said. After Wawa employees told the homeless man to leave, Barnville escorted him out, according to police. It is unclear what exactly happened in the next few minutes, but the homeless man allegedly proceeded to stab Barnville near his underarm outside Wawa with a pocketknife, puncturing a major artery, authorities and witnesses said. Witnesses said Barnville lost so much blood that they were afraid he would die. The suspect then walked south on 38th Street, police said. Several people brought the victim into Wawa and put a tourniquet on his arm to stop the bleeding. An ambulance soon arrived to transport the man to HUP, according to several witnesses. A witness sitting inside the eating area of the store said Barnville had "taken swings" at the suspect before he was stabbed. Police police refused comment on those allegations. Hard Surfaces Superintendent Mike Ferraiolo, who supervises Barnville, described the 10-year Penn employee as "just an all-around good guy, a real good person." Barnville was a groundskeeper who cleaned the area around 38th and Spruce during his 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. shift, Ferraiolo said. Ferraiolo added that the Department of Facilities Services held a discussion Friday afternoon regarding how employees should handle homeless people. "It really hasn't been [an issue] in the past," Ferraiolo said, noting that the department's policy toward the homeless is to call University Police if there is a problem. At about 10 a.m. on Friday, maintenance crews were washing the sidewalk of the blood, which was splattered on the ground across 10 yards from the Wawa entrance to the corner of 38th and Spruce streets. The building housing Wawa also houses a student dormitory and dining hall, as well as several other popular restaurants and retail shops. It is across the street from the Wharton School's Steinberg Conference Center, the Veterinary School's Rosenthal Building and the Class of 1920 Commons parking garage. In recent years, the University has teamed up with Wawa and other local businesses in an attempt to reduce panhandling on and around campus. The program, entitled "Don't Give Change, Help Penn Make a Change," encourages students to put their spare coins in bins in the stores, including My Favorite Muffin and the 7-Eleven convenience store. The money is then donated to the University City Hospitality Coalition and the Horizon House, a West Philadelphia-based human service organization. Officials have touted the program as being successful in reducing panhandling.Comments powered by Disqus
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