Craigslist dispute over sale of cell phone leads to razor slashing, police say

Suspect, victim found inside Giant Food Store in Muhlenberg

Craigslist dispute leads to slashing at store

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - A dispute over a Craigslist transaction inside a crowded grocery store led to the arrest of one man and the wounding of another.

Police were dispatched shortly before 10:30 p.m. Saturday to the Giant Food Store, 4320 N. Fifth St. Hwy., in Muhlenberg Township for the report of one man chasing another man around the inside of the store with a knife.

Responding officers found the suspect, identified as Chaz Rodriguez, next to the customer service counter, holding a utility razor in his hand, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Police said Rodriguez complied with their command to drop the razor.

Officers then found the other man with a two-inch laceration on his chin, police said.

The investigation revealed that the two men arranged through the Craigslist website to meet at the neighboring Target store for the sale/purchase of a Samsung Galaxy cell phone for $460, according to court documents.

Upon inspecting the phone, the victim concluded that it was a knock-off, which prompted a heated debate between him and Rodriguez, who ultimately pulled out the razor and slashed the victim, police said.

The victim, fearing for his life, ran into the Giant in an attempt to get away from Rodriguez, who eventually caught up with him, police said.

In his attempt to further harm the victim, Rodriguez nearly struck a Giant cashier, who was caught in the middle of the two men, with dozens of other store employees and customers nearby, police said.

An off-duty corrections officer eventually intervened and managed to keep the suspect at bay until police arrived, officials said.

Rodriguez, 20, of Mount Penn, was subsequently arrested and charged with aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, disorderly conduct and harassment. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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