MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A long-simmering dispute between two Mount Vernon city workers led to deadly violence.
A Department of Public Works worker was fatally stabbed and a Water Department worker was charged with manslaughter, and is claiming self-defense.
CBS2 has obtained exclusive video of the deadly confrontation.
A memorial marks the spot on East Third Street, where 35-year-old Chinny Browne was fatally stabbed, and surveillance video shows the moments leading up to the Friday afternoon violence, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
As the footage shows, Carlton Naughton, a 43-year-old city Water Department worker, sees Browne approaching with a knife and pulls out one of his own.
Browne swings at Naughton, cutting his face. Naughton swings back and then follows Browne to the sidewalk.
Mount Vernon police said Naughton stabbed Browne in the chest several times. The men continued to struggle before giving up.
Naughton walked back to his city truck. Browne, a DPW worker, got on a scooter, went around a corner, and collapsed. He later died at a local hospital.
On Monday in court, Naughton’s legal team asserted he was acting in self-defense.
Christina T. Hall, Naughton’s defense attorney, said Browne, the victim, was “stalking” a member of Naughton’s family, which had filed many complaints about Browne with Mount Vernon police.
While video shows the victim took the first swing, the prosecutor said Browne was “in retreat” and had dropped his knife when he was fatally stabbed, justifying a manslaughter charge.
Aiello showed the video to attorney Troy Smith, a former prosecutor.
“Retreating would mean that he’s moving far away. This is a continuation of the incident that was going on,” Smith said. “The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he wasn’t acting in self-defense. That’s a very heavy burden for the prosecution to overcome.”
A judge set Naughton’s bail at $25,000.
A GoFundMe campaign is raising money for Browne’s funeral, and his young son.
In a Facebook post, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard called the violence “senseless” and said “cooler minds (should) prevail” when settling disputes.