Lehigh Valley

Police: Argument over log splitter ends with stabbing

Accused attacker found sitting next to camp fire

LYNN TWP., Pa. - A Montgomery County man is facing aggravated assault charges after allegedly stabbing a man following an argument over a log splitter at a Lynn Township hunting camp.

Pennsylvania State Police apprehended Eric C. Toften, of Norristown, late Saturday night outside the camp in the 8900 block of Perry Long Court in Lynn Township. Authorities charged the 51-year-old Sunday, and District Judge Michael Faulkner arraigned him, setting bail at $20,000.

State police were dispatched about 11:15 p.m. to investigate a reported stabbing victim. Troopers met an ambulance, which transported the victim to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest for a roughly 2-inch deep stab wound to his stomach, according to court records.

A witness had identified Toften as the alleged attacker, and state troopers took him into custody as he sat next to a campfire. Authorities said a disheveled and dirt-covered Toften had blood on his hands, a cut on the bridge of his nose and what appeared to be a cut on the back of his calf.

The victim told police during an interview at the hospital that an argument broke out among several people at the camp about 11 p.m. over the recent purchase of a log splitter, according to records. Toften’s anger was eventually directed toward the victim, and the two began throwing punches.

During the scrum, the victim - who alleged Toften came at him - told troopers he realized that he was bleeding and reached down to feel a hole in his stomach.

The witness told state police that the log-splitter argument began inside the camp’s trailer. After the victim walked outside, Toften allegedly followed, and the two began fighting on the deck, according to the witness.

He went back inside to be with his daughter who woke up because of the commotion. The witness reported hearing the victim say, “Did you just (expletive) stab me” and seeing Toften holding a knife.

Police charged Toften with two counts of aggravated assault and single counts of simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment. After failing to post bail, he was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 11.

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