WSAZ - Local News and Breaking News Coverage for West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

UPDATE: Second Man Arrested in Beating and Stabbing of Off-Duty Firefighter

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

UPDATE 7/8/13 @ 11 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police say they have arrested the second suspect in the beating of an off-duty Huntington firefighter.

Rhamel Hatcher, 27, of Ironton, Ohio was arrested Monday night.

Investigators say Hatcher and Justin Stahl, 20, of Huntington beat and stabbed Seth Summers, 23, while he was trying to help a man who had been knocked out in a fight.

It happened June 20 outside a nightclub along 4th Avenue and 12th Street.

Summers is out of the hospital and recovering at home.

Stahl turned himself in Friday. Both men are charged with malicious wounding.

According to the criminal complaint, police say that both men kicked Summers in the head after he was knocked to the ground. Police say Summers appeared to have impressions from shoe strikes on his face.

Hatcher remains in Western Regional Jail. Stahl posted bond following his arrest.

Police say both men have a history of violence.

In March 2012, Hatcher was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the beating death of Jeremy Cook. Hatcher was originally charged with murder in that case, but a jury found him guilty on the lesser charge. He was released from jail in May 2012, having served a number of months before he was sentenced to one year.

Stahl was arrested in July 2012 after a violent home invasion months prior. He spent only a few days in jail before bonding out. He is scheduled to be in court on home invasion charges next month.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information



ORIGINAL STORY 7/5/13
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A young man beaten and stabbed outside a nightclub in Huntington is recovering, as police search for one of two men they say are responsible for the attack.

Beating suspect Justin Stahl turned himself in Friday. The other suspect, Rhamel Hatcher, was still at large.

Investigators say 23-year-old Seth Summers, who works for the Huntington Fire Department, was attacked from behind on June 20. He was trying to intervene in a fight outside of Rehab Nightclub along 4th Avenue and 12th Street.

“I was parked outside of Rehab and Dan's Sporting Goods and talking to some friends when a fight broke out,” Summers, who was off-duty at the time, said. “I happen to look behind me, and I see a guy get knocked out. So I went to render aid to him, and that's when I was attacked from behind by several people, and then next thing I know, I woke up and I was in the ICU at Cabell Huntington [Hospital].”

Summers said he doesn’t remember anything between being knocked out and waking up in the hospital. He said other people who were there tell him he was able to get up and get into the ambulance. He had been planning to help the person who was knocked out, using his EMT training from his firefighting work, Summers said.

Instead, he was stabbed three times in the side and beaten.

“They told me that I had been stabbed three times and that I had a boot-print on the side of my face,” Summers said. “I was hurting all over, couldn't eat or drink anything for over a week and I've lost a lot of weight since then."

Summers had to undergo surgery, where he was cut from the waist up to about his sternum. He said doctors checked his insides to make sure there was nothing inside and then stapled him back up.

“They said I was lucky to be alive,” he said.

He said he is still recovering, which will put him behind schedule to get confirmed as a firefighter. He has been a probationary firefighter since late last summer. Typically, probation lasts one year. Summers described probation as difficult but “well worth it.”

“My probation period will most likely be extended out, due to the fact that I can't complete the tasks that I need to during my probation period,” Summers said. “Once I heal up and get better, I'll just have to get back to do the assigned tasks and then I'll get confirmed.”

Police are stlil looking for Rhamel Hatcher in connection with Summers’ attack. It’s not the first brush with the law for either suspect. Hatcher was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the beating death of Jeremy Cook. He was originally charged with murder in that case, but a jury found him guilty on the lesser charge. He was released from jail in May 2012, having served a number of months before he was sentenced to one year.

Stahl was arrested in July 2012 after a violent home invasion months prior. He spent only a few days in jail before bonding out. He is scheduled to be in court on home invasion charges next month.

Summers said he is still shocked by what happened.

“Just kind of amazed, you know, that I go to help somebody and then I get attacked and stabbed three times,” Summers said. “I've never had to be hospitalized or anything like that before."

He said the road that lies ahead is difficult, especially with getting back into the physical shape he needs to be confirmed for full duty at the fire department. Fortunately, he said, his fellow firefighters have been very helpful.

“Every single one of them come in,” he said of his hospital stay. “They offered to make sure I didn't need anything, offered to do things for me at my house. It's a brotherhood here – we take care of our own.”

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 214426221 - wsaz.com/a?a=214426221