Suspect charged in stabbing at South Side bar

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A stabbing at Levelz Sports Lounge in the South Side early Saturday has left one man critically injured and another with a cut to his hand when he tried to intervene, Pittsburgh police said.

The suspect in the stabbings, Manuel Carde Freiria, 41, of the South Side, was taken into custody by both on-duty and off-duty police officers, police said.

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses saw Mr. Freiria stab Jay Barbour, an off-duty Levelz employee, during a scuffle that occurred after Mr. Barbour asked Mr. Freiria not to smoke inside of the establishment. Mr. Barbour was stabbed in the abdomen so severely that witnesses saw him holding his entrails. He was transferred to UPMC Mercy in critical condition, police said.

The second victim, Seth Edmunds, was stabbed in the right hand while trying to break up the fight. He also was treated at Mercy.

Mr. Freiria was taken to the homicide squad offices in the North Side and subsequently charged with aggravated assault, attempted homicide, reckless endangerment, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime. He was arraigned Saturday and bond was set at $1 million. He is being held at the Allegheny County Jail.

Levelz has had its share of trouble. In late October, a massive fight broke out there, causing officers to use pepper spray to disperse unruly patrons.

City Councilman Bruce Kraus said in February the establishment brings danger to East Carson Street and was a strain on police resources in the area.

Police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly of Zone 3 agreed at the time, noting that thefts, fights and sexual assaults had been linked to the establishment. She said the bar is "on the radar" of the county's Nuisance Bar Task Force, and members of the Allegheny County district attorney's office had met with the bar owners, urging them to clean up their act.

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Michael A. Fuoco: mfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1968. Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1652. First Published July 27, 2013 11:30 AM


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