2 stabbed at Springdale high-rise

| Friday, June 27, 2014, 8:15 p.m.

Police have taken into custody a 73-year-old resident of the Springdale Manor high-rise in connection with the “serious” stabbings on Friday night of two elderly women and an assault on a third.

Authorities who declined to be identified said the suspect is Charles Azim.

Like the suspect, the women who were wounded are elderly residents.

Officials said both stabbing victims were said to be in serious condition in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. A medical helicopter airlifted one patient, who suffered two stab wounds — one in the chest and the other in the abdomen.

Azim was taken into custody soon after the incident.

Neighbors said he had been suffering from ongoing health problems. They said at least one of the women helped care for him.

Neighbors said he and the women had argued frequently, and police had been called in the past.

A third woman, also a resident, reportedly was slapped or punched by the suspect but was not believed to be seriously injured. She was being treated at UPMC St. Margaret hospital near Aspinwall.

The incident happened on the sixth floor of the eight-story building. All residents of that floor were told to leave their apartments.

The apartment building, located in the 500 block of Pittsburgh Street, is operated by the Allegheny County Housing Authority and has more than 90 residential units.

The incident was being investigated by Springdale police, housing authority police and the Allegheny County Police homicide unit. The unit investigates serious crimes even if they don't involve a death.

Lengthy criminal past

Azim has a lengthy criminal record, some involving violence.

• In a case stemming from an incident in May 2000, Azim was sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison.

According to state court records, Azim was convicted in Allegheny County Court of two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of simple assault, reckless endangerment and terroristic threats. The records don't indicate in what municipality the crime occurred, but a Pittsburgh woman has filed a protection from abuse order against him that month.

• Azim was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for robbery and assault that occurred in Philadelphia in 1977. He wasn't caught until 1983.

• In 1989, he was arrested to drug possession and receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to 1 12 to three years in prison.

• The next year, he was found guilty in Allegheny County of burglary and related charges. He was sentenced to 1 12 to three years in prison.

• Allegheny County court records show that Azim pleaded guilty to an incident last August that involved defiant trespass. Frazer police filed those charges.

Mary Ann Thomas and Liz Hayes are staff writers with Trib Total Media. Thomas can be reached at mthomas@tribweb.com. Hayes can be reached at lhayes@tribweb.com.

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