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Police Investigating After Fatal Stabbing Near Babylon Little League Game

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BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after a fatal stabbing right near a Little League game in Suffolk County, Long Island Saturday afternoon.

The stabbing happened just after 12 p.m. on Locust Avenue in Babylon, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported.

Detectives said the incident happened right in the middle of the street, just steps away from coaches, kids and parents preparing for a Little League game, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

They said the stabbing occurred during a fight between the victim, 20-year-old James Moran, and the suspect 28-year-old Michael Grusel.

Police said a witness broke up the fight and Moran told the witness that he had been stabbed.

Suffolk County police told 1010 WINS Moran, of Bay Shore, was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The witness who jumped in to break up the scuffle also alerted off-duty Suffolk County Police Officer Fred Bothe, who was on the nearby baseball field.

Bothe, with the assistance of other Good Samaritans, tackled Grusel and held him until police officers arrived, police said.

Michael Grusel (Credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

Michael Grusel (Credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

Several witnesses claim Grusel stabbed Moran in self-defense.

“He’s a young kid, very quiet individual. He always walks trough the neighborhood here. He’s known as Michael dribbles, very quiet. And the guy was trying to rob him and he protected himself. The guy pulled out a knife, he took it from him and stuck him with it,” witness Vincent told Champion.

“Chasing him down, one guy had a knife, and they turned around and went to stab him. And the kid turned around and got the knife from him somehow and almost gutted him,” one witness told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten.

Another witness told Baumgarten that Grusel had been bullied constantly.

“Somebody needs to do something about the bullies that walk around and hurt people that are innocent,” she said.

Friends told Carlin that Grusel was being threatened and that he was previously robbed while walking through the area.

“Shouldn’t be charging nothing, self-defense you know,” Vincent said.

Investigators said the two did know each other and that they’re looking into the self-defense claim, among other motives. They added that the incident does not appear to be gang related.

James Morgan was fatally stabbed on Babylon on May 17, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

James Morgan was fatally stabbed on Babylon on May 17, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

Moran leaves behind a fiancee and a 2-year-old daughter, Carlin reported.

His friends and family said he worked in restaurants, earning cash for his upcoming wedding and so that he could move his young family to Florida.

Moran’s father called his son “carefree” and a “good kid.”

Grusel, who lives in Babylon, will be held overnight at the First Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sunday.

Because of the attack, the Babylon Little League canceled its baseball games scheduled for Saturday.

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