Reporting Steve Sandberg
UNION, N.J. (1010 WINS/ CBS 2) – A deranged man attacked two women with a tomahawk hatchet and a knife in Union Township, N.J. on Friday morning, police said.
The two women were walking their dogs on Long View Avenue around 6 a.m. when they found several items from one of their sheds strewn across the lawn. Upon taking a closer look and opening the shed door, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said 25-year-old Morgan Mesz jumped out, stabbed the women and attacked them with a giant hatchet.
Neighbor Hernan Agudelo, 33, heard the blood curdling screams and ran over to the yard where he grabbed a baseball bat and hit the suspect in the head, knocking him out, Romankow said.
“This act of selflessness and bravery is commendable,” said Romankow. “Without Mr. Agudelo’s brave actions this situation could have been much worse.”
Mesz has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and bail has been set at $1.5 million.
His ears were cut but Agudelo told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan he would do it again.
“I had a souvenir little mini bat and grabbed and went back there and when I went in there he was hurting the other person, assaulting her, looked like he was stabbing her,” Agudelo said.
Agudelo said the suspect was violently stabbing his 53-year-old neighbor near the shed of her home. She was rushed to the hospital in very critical condition. Her roommate, a 50-year-old woman, was also viciously attacked. Agudelo heard their screams for help.
“I just went in started hitting him with a bat, then I tackled him into the ground and pinned him down until police showed up,” Agudelo said.
The 33-year-old father knew what he was getting into. He first rushed to the backyard, where tons of stuff from the shed was pulled out into the lawn, without a bat.
He said Mesz told him to back off.
“He told me they were sacrificing children and [he] came to kill them. He was from Arkansas,” Agudelo said.
But Mesz is from the neighborhood and lives in a house on Nottingham Way with his mom.
“He helped people to repair driveway. Always very friendly. Friendly neighbors you’d want to have,” said Mesz’s neighbor, Galina Venezia.
At the victim’s home one neighbor brought a cross. Everyone was shaken by what police call a random crime.
“It’s just so sad. It could have been my mother-in-law, could have been me. It could have been anybody,” Maura Kepuladze said.
“He put himself in danger, actually, but I guess he was sure that he would tackle him down,” Alex Kepuladze told 1010 WINS’ Sandberg. “But if he didn’t help, he would’ve killed the women. I don’t know. I don’t know what would have happened…It’s scary, very scary.”
When asked how he mustered the bravery to do what he did, Agudelo said, “I don’t know why. Sometimes as human beings we all need help. I think it was just the right thing for me to do.
“Sometime we see things happening and look away. It’s a sad thing.”
And that was one thing this hero didn’t do — look away.