Stabbing victim seeks help at Otis Library in Norwich

Norwich — Police said a man was stabbed with a paring knife Tuesday after he tried to buy a cigarette from a man who refused to sell him a smoke.

Three men were arrested following the ensuing fight around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, which ended with John Warner, 50, being stabbed twice in his left tricep, police said.

Police said Warner and Stanley Scovish, 62, approached Bruce Skidgel, 23, on Main Street and asked to buy cigarettes. When Skidgel and his pregnant girlfriend refused to sell the pair a cigarette, police said, a fight broke out between the men in front of Otis Library. At some point during the fight, police said, Skidgel pulled out a paring knife and stabbed Warner in the arm.

Warner, saying he'd been stabbed, walked into Otis Library Tuesday afternoon seeking help, said library Director Robert Farwell.

Police officers asked to look at the library's surveillance video, which monitors the front entrance of the building, Farwell said.

Shortly after the incident, a trail of blood was visible leading into the building from the sidewalk in front of the library.

Warner, of 19 Jay St., New London, was taken to The William W. Backus Hospital and treated for minor injuries and released. Upon his release, Warner was arrested for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct and held in lieu of a $1,000 bond.

Skidgel, of a last known address of 70 Boswell Ave., Apt. 2, was charged with second-degree assault and breach of peace and held in lieu of a $10,000 bond. Scovish, of 52 Fitchville Road, was charged with second-degree threatening and breach of peace and held in lieu of a $1,000 bond.

Police said the incident was an isolated one, and no further arrests are expected.

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