published Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Man stabbed in fight over sleeping space

Anna Harvey's raised fist was her only weapon when she confronted the homeless man with a knife.

"I was going to deck him," she said.

At the time of the attack Thursday outside the downtown branch of Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library, Harvey had no idea her fiancé, 35-year-old David Hartman, already had a one-inch wound after being stabbed in the chest just below his heart.

As the attacker walked away, still carrying the bloody pocketknife and a can of pepper spray, Harvey turned and looked at Hartman.

"And then I started noticing the blood that was dripping on the ground," she said in a telephone interview Friday. "I looked at David's shirt. I said, 'David, You've been stabbed.'"

Hartman was undergoing tests Friday afternoon at Erlanger hospital but was listed in stable condition. Harvey is hopeful he will be released soon.

Maurice Moore, 42, was arrested Thursday night on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment of a child, police said. As of Friday afternoon, he remained in jail on a $110,000 bond.

When police arrested him a few minutes later, hiding under the steps of City Hall a couple of blocks away on 11th Street, they found pepper spray and a bloody knife in his possession, according to the arrest report.

And it all happened because Harvey and Hartman were trying to do a favor for a friend.

Harvey, Hartman and their 4-month-old daughter, who was in a stroller, were going to visit a homeless friend who sleeps on the steps of the Broad Street library. They were bringing him sandwiches, she said.

"This guy (the suspect) comes out of nowhere and starts giving our friend a hassle about where to sleep on the library porch," Harvey said.

Harvey said the attacker began to spray her fiancé and their friend, Jason Belcher, in the face with pepper stroll, but some of the spray hit the stroller and Hartman got angry, Harvey said.

"David went after the guy. We didn't know he had some sort of bladed weapon in his hand," she said.

Moore told police Belcher was sleeping in his spot and he told him to move, the police report states. Moore told authorities he was the only one of the three men who was armed.

"He advised also that if Mr. Belcher had rushed him that he would have been stabbed, as well," according to the arrest report. "Mr. Moore did not seem remorseful for any of his actions and felt he was justified."

Moore has faced a total of 22 charges since 1999 in Hamilton County, according to local court records.

Records show he pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge earlier this month. He was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail, but his sentence was suspended for good behavior and he was placed on probation, according to court records.

"This guy needs to go away for a long, long time," Harvey said.

Eva Johnston, interim director of the library, said she has frequently seen Moore and Belcher at the library. The facility had been closed for about 30 minutes when the attack happened about 7:30 p.m..

On Friday morning, when she arrived to work, the blood already had been cleaned off the tiles by police officers, Johnston said. She was shocked to hear about the stabbing on the news.

She said many transient people use library resources during the day, and some sleep nearby.

Johnston, who has worked at the library since the 1970s, said she doesn't recall any similar violence ever happening there.

"It's a downtown area. Something like that could have happened in another area," she said.

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inquiringmind said...

Fortunately, NCbegood10 we live in a country with laws and commensurate punishment for crimes (unless you are African-American). Unfortunately, lack of funding and change in public policy over the last 20 or so years has dumped large number of people out onto the street that should be in mental health facilities.

I say, let the legal system do its thing; raise taxes to provide reasonable medical care to the homeless and programs to get them back into the work force (if they are sane enough to do it); and get your church to start a homeless ministry for both this who can get back into work and those who cannot.

January 29, 2011 at 6:38 a.m.
dendod said...

Somebody suggest to Ron Littfield the idea of DOING SOMETHING FOR THE HOMELESS. His hope that they will all leave town is not working.

January 29, 2011 at 7:09 a.m.
cannonball said...

We have been told that Maurice Moore, 42, was arrested Thursday night on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment of a child. What we wont be told is that some judge smacked his hand and let him go.

January 29, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
aryfrosty said...

It is sad that the news reports on these morons who should have been either locked up or told to move on. "Homeless" my hind foot. SHIFTLESS is more like it. Get a job or sleep under a bridge. Taxpayers use the library and you ain't one.

January 29, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.

The man had a bad temper and he had made threats to other people as well in the street before this happened.I am glad that he did not kill the man and that it did not become a worst altarcation had it went on few a few more minutes longer.

Ron Littlefied needs to address the housing issue and how that is one of the most important building blocks that one must have to get back on there feet. How can you get a job and you don't have anywhere to live ? People need to have compassion and understand that is one of the many central issues in the problem of the homeless it does start with HOUSING baby.

Another thing that i have to mention is why in the world did Ron Littlefield allow them homeless people to sleep all around the library in the first place.This has been a on going thing for months and it was over 5 months this stufff was going on. Why did he not tell his Chattanooga finest (CPD) to do a police sweep of the area every night to send the message that you are not SUPPOSE TO SLEEP HERE!

Next time if this comes up again there will be a shooting instead of a stabbing. Ron Littlefield it's about time as mayor of Chattanooga to get on your damn peas & q's.

January 31, 2011 at 5:23 p.m.
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