Friday February 2 7:18 PM ET
Man with Machete Hurts Kids in Pennsylvania School
FELTON, Pa. (Reuters) - A man wielding a machete went on a
rampage inside a Pennsylvania elementary school on Friday,
injuring five kindergartners, two teachers and the principal
before staff members subdued him, authorities said.
The children -- four girls and a boy, all aged 5 or 6 -- were
slightly injured in the melee. But a kindergarten teacher and the
principal at North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School both
required surgery for hand lacerations.
The wounds of 41-year-old principal Norina Bentzel were so severe
that doctors sent her by air ambulance to a hospital that
specializes in reconstructive hand surgery 50 miles away in
State police identified the suspect as William Michael Stankewicz,
55, of Johnson City, Tenn., and charged him with attempted ***,
aggravated *** and possession of a weapon on school grounds.
He was jailed in the York County prison after asking that his bail
be set at $2 million, a request granted by the district magistrate
presiding over his arraignment hearing.
The outer doors of the elementary school are kept locked as a
security precaution. But police said Stankewicz entered the
building shortly after 11:30 a.m. behind a parent and attacked
Bentzel when the principal confronted him in the lobby.
An ensuing struggle between the machete-wielding suspect and
school staff spilled into a kindergarten classroom, where five
children were hit by the machete, police said. Staff members
finally subdued Stankewicz in a health room at around 11:45 a.m.,
just before police arrived and took him into custody.
A 911 emergency call placed to York County Emergency Services
by a panicked school staff member said the assailant was also
carrying a baseball bat. But police said the report proved to be
There was no immediate word on a motive for the attack. But during
his arraignment hearing, Stankewicz described himself as a former
Baltimore school teacher whose Russian wife and two children
reside in York County.
He also said he had no idea what he was doing inside the
A spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital in nearby York, a city about
10 miles northwest of Felton, said 52-year-old kindergarten teacher
Linda Collier was scheduled for surgery on Friday evening.
Third-grade teacher Stacey Bailey, 33, was treated for minor
injuries and released.
The five injured children -- four 5-year-olds and one 6-year-old
were treated for minor cuts at another nearby hospital.