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Customer Stabs Missouri Water Department Worker

Associated Press
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Richard Edward Jaworski

Richard Edward Jaworski

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri man angered that his water had been shut off repeatedly stabbed a city water department bookkeeper in her office Thursday, police said.

Richard E. Jaworski, 50, was arrested a short time later while sitting on his front porch in the town of Caruthersville. He was jailed without bond on multiple charges filed by the Pemiscot County prosecutor including assault and armed criminal action.

The bookkeeper, Elizabeth Hardesty, was flown to a hospital about 75 miles away in Memphis, Tennessee, and was out of surgery by Thursday evening, KFVS-TV reported.

Police said in a probable cause statement that Jaworski carried a large kitchen knife into the municipal building in the Mississippi River town around 11:15 p.m., walked past the counter in the water department office and stabbed or tried to stab Hardesty 13 times.

He threw the knife toward another employee as she was leaving her office, then left the building saying, “Call the police, I don’t care,” investigators said.

Police Chief Tony Jones told KFVS he was driving around looking for the attacker based witness descriptions when two neighbors directed him to Jaworski, who was sitting on his porch.

“I rolled my window down and asked if he had seen anyone run through there. He said, ‘Yes, I done it, I stabbed her,”’ said Jones, who made the arrest at gunpoint. “He said he stabbed her because his water was cut off.”

Online court records did not list a lawyer for Jaworski, who does not have a listed phone number.

The municipal building will be closed Friday.

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