Two deer hunters were brutally attacked Friday morning in a Berlin Township field when a drifter stabbed them repeatedly with a knife.
The incident happened shortly before 9 a.m. near Ohio 2 and Ohio 61. Erie County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man they say is responsible for the attacks. Tyrone Cash, 22, 3300 block of Broadway Ave., Lorain, was booked into the Erie County jail without bond.
He is charged with two counts each of attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and one count each of theft of a firearm and attempted theft of a firearm.
Deputies said Cash was walking north of Ohio 2 through a field when he encountered hunters Mitchell Bellamy, 28, 5700 block of Ohio 113, Berlin Heights, and Chad Rothgeb, 22, of the first block of W. Seminary St., Norwalk.
Investigators are unsure of the motive for the attack, but have indications he may have been trying to take a shotgun from the men, according to Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth.
Bellamy was stabbed in the head and Rothgeb was stabbed repeatedly in the back. While Bellamy struggled to defend himself, Cash was struck in the head with Bellamy's gun, Sigsworth said. The two hunters escaped and fled to a relative's house for help.
Deputies found Cash walking along some brush by railroad tracks, Sigsworth said.
"He didn't give us any problem at all," he said. "He was cooperative when arrested."
Meanwhile, Bellamy was taken to Community Health Partners Hospital in Lorain where he was treated and released. Rothgeb was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center and flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, where he remained in serious condition Friday.
"They indicated they didn't know him," Sigsworth said, adding that the scuffle might have begun after the hunters asked Cash why he was there.
Bellamy's family members were shocked at what transpired.
"They just come flying into the house," said Chris Walton, cousin of Bellamy. "You know everybody out there. It's such a shock for this little community."
Bellamy and Rothgeb, who the family described as close friends, had been hunting on the family-owned property all week.
"I thought it was strange, them coming back so soon," said Bellamy's aunt, Marie Church.
Officials retrieved Bellamy's weapon, a .410 bore single-shot shotgun, in the brush near the scene of the fight. They have not located the knife used in the stabbing. Cash has no other arrests on file at the sheriff's office. His arraignment is Monday in Erie County Court in Milan.
Deputies continue to investigate the matter.