UPDATE: Man arrested for aggravated assault; aggressive panhandl - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man arrested for aggravated assault; aggressive panhandling

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UPDATE: Police say a man stabbed someone in downtown Chattanooga at a popular music festival, Friday. 

Antonio Cornelius Foster, 42 is charged withe aggravated assault with a knife, aggressive panhandling, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. police say he stabbed a man in the back at least 3 times during the nightfall concert downtown. According to the report, Foster first approached the victim asking him for $2 dollars to buy more beer and he was turned away.

"When he went to panhandle  another group, the original victim intervened  saying, hey leave these people alone," said Public Information Officer, Mark Frazer, Chattanooga Police Dept. " It turned sour from there."

Witnesses say Foster then attacked the good Samaritan stabbing and pushing him to the ground. The victim initially refused medical treatment on the scene but later went to the hospital. Friends who witnessed the stabbing say the victim suffered 3 stab wounds with a 4-inch blade close to his spine. They say he's expected to be okay but a few inches closer to his spine could have left him paralyzed.

"The best approach in a situation like this is to notify law enforcement so that we can intervene, we are better equipped to intervene in scenarios like this and  you never know who you are going up against," said Frazer. 
  
"I think there's a lot more panhandling than there has been traditionally in this area as you walk down Market street and 8th street." said Ned Boehn. 

Panhandling is illegal, officials say an eyewitness complaint would have been enough for officers to make an arrest or remove that suspect from the area. 

In a statement to Channel 3, Carla Pritchard, owner of Chattanooga Presents , which produces Nightfall said, " Nightfall has been a signature event in Chattanooga for the past 29 years and has maintained a great reputation without any incidents during that long history. Of course we are concerned that this happened, but we truly believe that this is an isolated occurrence and is not reflective of the nature of the event, which is family-friendly, dog-friendly, and a popular gathering place for our community. Over 1.3 million people have come to Nightfall over the past 29 years, and only this one person has ever caused an incident of any aggressive nature." 

Officials ask anyone in attendance to please report any panhandling to police right away. Foster is being held at Silverdale on a $12,000 bond.


PREVIOUS STORY: A man was arrested Friday night on charges of aggravated assault and aggressive panhandling.

42-year-old Antonio Cornelius Foster was arrested after police say he stabbed a man at the nightfall concert event near E. MLK Blvd.

The incident happened around 9:50 p.m. 

Officials say Foster was panhandling in the area, asking for money to purchase more beer.

The victim, 53- year-old Carlton Gibbs, told Foster to stop and go away, which led to an altercation.

Gibbs suffered from three non-life-threatening stab wounds to the back, and was transported to a local hospital by his friends.

Foster was taken by police to Hamilton County Jail, where he faces charges for aggravated assault, aggressive panhandling, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication.

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