NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A homeless man accused in a deadly stabbing attack at a New Jersey strip mall appeared before a judge Thursday.
Henry Werner, 61, was charged with murder and attempted murder at his arraignment.
Werner was arrested Monday. He is accused of stabbing two men — one fatally — at the Richfield Shopping Center in Clifton.
Witnesses told CBS 2 that Werner started beating up an 81-year-old man outside of a laundromat for no apparent reason.
“The two fellows who were stabbed came down from Dunkin’ Donuts, and Henry followed them down,” Debbie Roon, who runs the Town Wash Tub laundromat, told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
The victim’s 67-year-old friend, Paul Baker, died from a stab wound when he stepped in and tried to stop Werner.
“He knocked another guy down,” said another witness, Viera Purjancik. “His head was by the trash can over here, and he was sticking knife … to another person.”
Roon said she heard some shouting in the strip mall just after 7 a.m., then ran outside to see Werner, one of the men and an off-duty Nutley police officer rolling around on the sidewalk.
The off-duty cop eventually subdued Werner.
“He’s shouting, ‘I’m a cop, I’m a cop,” Roon said. “He’s actually on top of Henry, who’s on top of the guy that he had just stabbed.”
Roon said Werner had been a fixture in the area for years and would often quietly sit inside her laundromat. She said she’s shocked that he would go on a violent rampage.
“I’ve never had a problem with Henry,” she said. “If he ever came here and I asked him to leave a couple of times, he just got up and left.”
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