Man stabbed in fight over sleeping space

Man stabbed in fight over sleeping space

January 29th, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

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

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.