Family and neighbors look for answers after brutal stabbing

Police say around 6:30 Wednesday night they received a frantic 911 call from a homeowner in the area.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — A 78-year-old Osceola County man is now in stable condition after police say he was stabbed in the neck in his home by a 20-year-old man.

According to State Police, it happened in Richmond Township on Four Mile Road near Reed City.

Police say around 6:30 Wednesday night they received a frantic 911 call from a homeowner in the area.

Joni White and her husband live across the street from where the incident happened. They say they saw a man wandering in their yard. When they approached him, he was mumbling and acting erratically. That’s when they called the cops.

“Then he said, 'I killed the man across the street,' I said, 'What did you just say?’" White described. “He said again, ‘I just killed the man across the street, look at my hands.”

Neighbors say the mans hands were stained with blood.

When they ran over to the home across the street, they heard their elderly neighbor cry for help.

“He was covered in blood from his head to his feet, so I called 911 again,” White said. "I turned around and that’s when I saw the knife sticking out of his neck, but he was more concerned about his wife.”

According to witnesses, the man’s wife was mowing the lawn in the backyard and was unharmed.

White, her husband, and son were able to detain the suspect until the State Police arrived. The 20-year-old man was then taken into custody.

“This was a very savage, savage beating, those neighbors are heroes as far as I’m concerned,” said Linda Mom, the victim’s niece. “They saved Uncle Pete’s life, and were able to catch the assailant and the police were able to [arrest him] because of them.”

Relatives and friends say the victim is well loved in the community.

“In this whole town people know Pete, he’s done so much for so many people and he’s just the most unlikely person to have this happen,” the victims niece said.

The victim was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries to his face and neck. As of Friday afternoon, relatives say he was in stable condition.

But right now the community is still left with unanswered questions.

“When you beat someone that savagely, you don’t know, and that’s the first thing that everyone asks, 'Why would he do that?’ But we don’t know,” Mom said.

The suspect is lodged in the Osceola County Jail and could be arraigned Friday afternoon.

Right now, it is unclear if the suspect and victim knew each other.

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