Who is Charles Edward Turner? Pittsburgh man stabs boy, 12, in neck at McDonald's before hurling racial slurs

The suspect reportedly went back inside the restaurant to 'finish his coffee' after stabbing the young boy critically


                            Who is Charles Edward Turner? Pittsburgh man stabs boy, 12, in neck at McDonald's before hurling racial slurs
Charles Edward Turner was arrested by Pittsburgh police (Pgh Public Safety)

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: In a shocking incident, a 12-year-old boy who went out with his family to enjoy a McDonald's meal in downtown Pittsburgh, was stabbed in the neck by a stranger from behind. The attacked child was rushed to the hospital immediately after the incident on Saturday, March 20, 2021, where he remained his critical condition till Sunday.

Soon police arrested 51-year-old Charles Edward Turner as the prime suspect, who reportedly went back inside the restaurant to 'finish his coffee' after stabbing the child presumably with a box cutter. Following the arrest of the suspect, police have ruled out any indication of Turner and the victim knowing each other. Some Twitter users have claimed that the crime was racially motivated.

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Who is Charles Edward Turner?

Charles Edward Turner, 51, a resident of West Oakland, was nabbed by Pittsburgh police as the suspect who stabbed the 12-year-old boy. He has been charged with attempted homicide, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and resisting arrest. He is currently held at Allegheny County Jail, waiting for his arraignment hearing. Reportedly, police have stated that Turner showed "extreme indifference to the value of human life."



 

On Saturday at 2 pm, the victim came to enjoy a meal with his family at a McDonald's outlet in Downtown Pittsburgh, located at Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street, near Market Square. The family of four was waiting in the line when Turner tackled the child from behind suddenly and proceeded to stab him in the neck. Family members of the boy and two McDonald's employees intervened to restrain Turner and get him off the child. As they managed to pull Turner away, they noticed that the boy's neck was slashed, reports Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  

While one family member tended to the injured boy, another tried to hold Turner down. But, Turner pushed back by biting him and led him to bleed. McDonald's employees David Lewandowski and Henry Seifried were also injured in the process. 

While the boy was being rushed to the hospital urgently, in the meantime, Turner was reportedly spotted pacing back-and-forth outside the restaurant while screaming racial slurs. He then went back inside on his own. When the boy's family members questioned Turner, he said that "he only wanted to finish his coffee and then leave the restaurant," states the criminal complaint. 

As police arrived at the scene soon afterward, officers Ross Small, Harry Siwik, and Steve Harris were injured while trying to arrest Turner, who tried to resist his arrest. He engaged in combat with the police - punching and kicking officers, while uttering racial slurs against the police officers, employees and patrons present there, reports WPXI

Later, investigators discovered a black and yellow box cutter knife at the scene with a broken blade, as well as a blood-stained, broken piece of the blade. 

Was the crime racially motivated?

Police have not confirmed any hints of the crime being racially motivated, though the motive of the suspect remains unknown. The race of the victim has also not been disclosed in the media. Perhaps since Turner yelled racial slurs after the crime, many internet users are believing the crime to have a racist angle. 

"Charles Edward Turner, a black man, stabbed a teenage white boy in the neck at McDonalds. What is going to be done #PittsburghPD about this #HateCrime #BlackLivesMatter," tweeted one. 

"This was a hate crime, the boy was white. Also, despite what the media says, almost all the racist attacks on Asians have been committed by blacks," commented one user on Facebook. "Why aren’t they charging him with a hate crime?," demanded another Facebook user.



 

 

A comment on the official Facebook post about the incident (Pittsburgh Bureau of Police)

 



 

The McDonald's outlet where the crime took place is reportedly infamous for such criminal activities. Just a few weeks before, a man was shot in the leg right outside the outlet following an argument. In November 2019, a violent fight erupted between several people inside the restaurant and spilled outside on the streets. Later, many people were charged for the brawl that left a man unconscious and a woman injured with pepper-spray, reports WPXI. 

Remarks were made by the Internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.