A barbershop dispute over which customer would get the first haircut escalated into a fistfight and then a stabbing Monday evening after one of the combatants grabbed a pair of scissors. The shop's owner went to Norwalk Hospital with a chest wound, and his employee was arrested on the grounds of Jefferson Elementary School.
Willy Samuel, 29, of New Haven, was charged with criminal impersonation, second-degree assault and interfering with a police officer. Bond was set at $50,000. Police say the scissors penetrated the muscles on the victim but not the lung.
The incident happened at about 6:30 p.m. at Georgey's Barber Shop, 606 West Ave. Witness reports conflict a bit, but all agreed Samuel was upset because the victim assigned another barber to do a haircut. They argued and began to throw punches. Each was grabbed by other employees, and the man holding Samuel was thrown to the floor, according to his statement. Witnesses agreed the victim grabbed electrical clippers and swung them by the cord; one witness says he swung them at Samuel. They say Samuel stabbed his boss while they were on the floor.
Samuel is quoted as saying, "Let me see what I did to you, you made me do this to you, brother," to the bleeding victim. As another employee put the victim into a car to go to the hospital, Samuel got in to go, too. A customer phoned Norwalk police, causing Samuel to protest.
An officer arriving at the hospital passed a man on foot who seemed to be leaving in a hurry. As the officer got out of his car, a woman said the pedestrian was "involved in whatever was going on inside."
The officer put out a description and went after the man in his cruiser. He saw the suspect jumped a chain-link fence into a parking lot that abuts the school, and other officers found him there, sweating, bloody and hiding behind a pillar, police say. An officer drew a gun on Samuel, but he cooperated with the command to get on the ground.
The suspect provided an identity card that said he was Rafael Santana. Police ran his fingerprints and found his right name to be Willy Samuel.
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