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Police: South Greensburg man stabs neighbor over doorbell

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J. Omar Bustamante of South Greensburg is accused of stabbing a man three times during an argument on June 5, 2014.
Friday, June 6, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A South Greensburg man who was angry with a neighbor for repeatedly ringing his doorbell early Thursday faces charges of aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangerment for stabbing him three times.

Dennis Shaw, 58, of the 1500 block of Elm Street was airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh after suffering three stabs to his side and back during an altercation at 2:40 a.m. outside the home of his neighbor, J. Omar Bustamante, 49.

Witnesses told South Greensburg police Sgt. Bryan Painter that the two men argued on Bustamante's porch after Shaw repeatedly rang his doorbell. Shaw punched Bustamante in the face during the argument, witnesses said. Bustamante told police that he defended himself by stabbing Shaw after he was punched.

“I stabbed him,” Bustamante allegedly told Painter, who arrived at the Elm Street home to investigate a report of a fight, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed with Hempfield District Judge James Falcon.

Painter reported Bustamante pointed to a bruise over his left eye where he alleged Shaw punched him before the stabbing.

Bustamante's daughter Lyndsey and her boyfriend, Tony Merritt, who witnessed the altercation, said Bustamante opened the door and stepped onto the porch after Shaw repeatedly rang the doorbell and immediately began arguing with Bustamante and Merritt.

“Shaw then punches J. Omar once in the face ... and Merritt states that he went to push Shaw away from J. Omar, and that is when J. Omar began striking Shaw in the side/back area three times,” Painter wrote in the affidavit.

Painter said Merritt said he did not initially realize Bustamante was stabbing Shaw until after he saw him fall backward onto the grass and walk across the street to his home.

According to Merritt, once he and Bustamante were back inside the home, “J. Omar stated, “(Expletive!) ... I'm going to jail ... I stabbed him three times,'” Painter said.

Painter said Merritt showed investigators where Bustamante threw the knife, which has a 3 12-inch blade, under a couch.

The sergeant wrote in the affidavit that the knife “had fresh blood on it.”

After interviewing witnesses at Bustamante's home, police walked across the street to Shaw's home and followed a blood trail inside, including “a set of bloody keys that were still in the door lock.”

Painter said there was no response at the door, so police entered and found Shaw sitting in a chair in the living room “fading in and out of consciousness” with three severe stab wounds “bleeding heavily.” He was unable to answer investigators' questions.

Shaw was treated at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and later airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian, where he was in critical condition, police said.

Bustamante was jailed after failing to post $10,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Falcon.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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