Police seek public's help to find alleged machete attacker

Last updated: May 24, 2021 - 9:00pm

BERWICK —  A 41-year-old man slashed another man with a machete, then escaped with the weapon, say police.
Now officers are asking for the public’s help in finding Marlon I. Melendez-Reyes. Anyone who sees him should call 9-1-1, said

Detective Greg Martin. However, police warned the public not to approach him.

“We believe he’s armed, extremely dangerous, and prone to violence,” Martin said.

The alleged attack took place at 9:15 p.m. Sunday night, Martin said.

The victim, whose name officers have not released, had done some masonry work for the family at 1419 Pine St., according to officers. He was supposed to be paid at the end of the week, but when he went to collect his money, he got into a verbal argument with Melendez-Reyes, police allege.

At one point, the victim called Melendez-Reyes “a drug-dealing junkie,” Martin said.

That’s when Melendez-Reyes went back into the house, emerged with the machete, and attacked the victim, according to officers.

He slashed the masonry worker’s left arm, but the worker was able to free himself and ran down the street, police said.

Melendez-Reyes allegedly chased him, shouting “I’m going to f---ing kill you!”

Suspect vanishes

When officers arrived, the victim had his arm wrapped, but was bleeding so heavily, police used a tourniquet to stanch the wound and called an ambulance, Martin said.

They also called in Ptlm. Victor Torres to translate for the injured man.

Melendez-Reyes had disappeared back into 1419 Pine St., police thought. They secured the building and searched through it, but were unable to find him.

A K-9 unit indicated he had fled toward the west, but as of Monday night, he still hadn’t been found, officers said.

Melendez-Reyes still was able to convey threats against the victim’s life since the attack, police allege, though they would not explain how.

Melendez-Reyes is a Hispanic man, 41 years old, about 5-foot, 6-inches tall and 150 pounds, police said. He has brown hair and brown eyes and is clean-shaven.

He is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and possessing an instrument of crime.

The victim was taken to the hospital but released after treatment, police said.

Susan Schwartz covers the Berwick area. She can be reached at 570-387-1234 ext. 1306 and susan.schwartz@pressenterprise.net, or followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PESueSchwartz.


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