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(NECN: Mike Cronin) - Keyon Johnston faced a Fitchburg, Mass. judge Thursday, accused of stabbing a Community Health Link worker in the face with a knife.
“And in this particular case we are considering it very serious,” said Sgt. Glenn Fossa.
On Wednesday afternoon, police say the victim drove Johnston to his Fitchburg home when Johnston allegedly attacked the man because he didn't bring him Nicorette gum.
“And it caused him to be injured to the point where it took at least 22 stitches in his face to repair the laceration,” Sgt. Fossa said.
The victim allegedly walked just one block away to the police station's lobby, covered in blood. He was taken to the hospital. Police arrested the 31-year-old patient at his home and charged him with mayhem.
“On his own admission, was a medical patient who was being transported by the victim in this case.”
Based out of Worcester, Community Health Link helps people recovering from mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness. The president and CEO says "we take the safety of our workers very seriously" but declined to comment further as the incident remains under investigation.
“Neighbor Jim Glidden said there was no indication that Johnston was violent.
“He seemed like a pretty good kid,” he said.
Glidden lives across the street from Johnston. He frequently saw him walking down the street but didn't say much beyond a simple hello. He says police have always focused on the neighborhood.
“They drive by here 20 times a day."
Johnston is held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week. Glidden says the news is disturbing, even for an area he says can be dangerous.
“There's always a lot of problems at that house over there but this thing has gone too far.”