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Two stabbed in fight Saturday at Bel Air's Dark Horse Saloon

Bars and ClubsDining and DrinkingMusicJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Two people were stabbed during a fight at The Dark Horse Saloon in Bel Air Saturday night, Bel Air Police said.

Police responded to the Main Street business at about 11:39 p.m., where they found one person stabbed in the neck and chest and a second person with stab wounds to the back, according to Bel Air Police Department news release.

Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola thought the assailant had a box cutter, Chris Reda, owner of the Dark Horse Saloon, said Tuesday, but witnesses told Reda the assailant may have picked up an outdoor ashtray and used it to hit the victims. Police said both victims are 26.

Reached late Tuesday afternoon, Matrangola said a suspect had still not been found but the incident was definitely a stabbing.

"An unknown black male in his late twenties removed the knife and attacked," the police chief said. "After he made contact with them with the knife, he ran from the parking lot of the Dark Horse toward Belair Road."

Matrangola said the victims, whose names he said he still did not have, have been released from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, where they had been taken after the incident.

He also did not know where on their body they had been stabbed.

The incident began inside the business and spilled out onto the parking lot, according to the news release.

Ten people were fighting in the parking lot, according to a call for service to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect was described in that call for service as a 6-foot-tall male, weighing 200 pounds, in a white-and-gray shirt, light blue jeans and short cut hair.

No suspects have been identified, but the incident is on surveillance video from Dark Horse, police initially said.

The saloon's owner said none of his staff believed there was actually a stabbing. Reda said the fight began between a couple of people attending a party at the bar.

After they started pushing each other on the dance floor, they were removed from the bar by employees, Reda said. The fight then started up again on the public parking lot, he said.

Reda said he believes the incident is isolated because the attacker was not a regular at Dark Horse and, he added, the county liquor control board has regularly called Dark Horse a model business.

"This is a terrible thing to have happened," he said, noting the restaurant has increased its sales by 23 percent in the past year and he believes it has a good reputation. "Once you hear 'a knife,' it just makes it sound terrible."

Reda said his employees responded right away and reacted appropriately.

"We take security very seriously," he said.

Matrangola agreed the Dark Horse staff acted quickly and appropriately, including immediately working with the police.

He said Dark Horse, as well as all the bars in the Main Street area, have worked to keep out what he called a less desirable crowd.

"They have toned down their music and drink specials to keep the riff-raff out," he said.

Police meet with all the tavern managers quarterly and urge them to discourage hip-hop music or other events that could encourage violence, Matrangola said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Bel Air Police at 410-638-4500 or via crimetips@belairmd.org.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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