Handcuffs

BETHLEHEM, Pa. | A late-night exchange of words outside a Bethlehem nightclub reportedly led to a fight and an attempted homicide charge against a Monroe County man.

Bethlehem police charged Carlton J. Johnson, of Martha Lane in Tobyhanna Township, with assault and attempted homicide after he allegedly stabbed a fellow patron outside Revel Social Club last month. District Judge Daniel Corpora arraigned the 50-year-old early Tuesday morning, setting bail at $200,000.

A Revel staff member flagged down Bethlehem police shortly before 2:30 a.m. Nov. 17 for a patron who had been stabbed in the stomach. The 23-year-old was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered internal bleeding, according to court records.

Medical staff reported that the stabbing severed a major blood vessel and the victim’s small intestine, injuries that would have been fatal had he not received immediate medical care, according to police.

The victim’s father told police that they arrived at Revel about midnight as a group of people appeared to be arguing with bouncers outside the club, according to records. Police said the club owner reported that the men in the group were giving staff “a hard time” about having their identification scanned before coming inside.

He reported that a man later identified as Johnson tried to pay a bouncer instead of presenting his ID. Johnson eventually showed his ID, police said.

Once inside, the victim’s father reported to police that the men in the group seemed to “box him in” and that Johnson had been staring at him. He told authorities that he felt uncomfortable and moved away, fearing they were going to “start trouble,” according to records.

Outside the club, Johnson reportedly stared at the victim and his father as they walked by. Words were exchanged and a fight started. The victim – who told police that the spoke with the group inside the club – said he pushed one man to break up the fight.

That’s when Johnson, with his hand in his pocket, reportedly approached the victim and allegedly stabbed him, according to police. The victim told police that he punched Johnson and walked back to Revel to tell a bouncer that he’d been stabbed.

Investigators said they identified Johnson through video surveillance and the ID he scanned at the door. The victim reportedly identified his attacker through a photo lineup.

Police charged Johnson with attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and single counts of reckless endangerment and possessing an instrument of a crime. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 16.