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Cops: Man used ax, statue to beat 2 at North Irwin apartment

| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 9:28 a.m.

A Claridge man allegedly broke into a North Irwin apartment Monday and beat his ex-girlfriend and a man with a battle ax and a porcelain statue, Irwin police said.

Benson William Perry, 35, was arraigned by video Tuesday morning on attempted homicide and related charges. His bond was set at $500,000.

Police said Perry removed a door from its hinges at the Penn Avenue apartment about 7:30 a.m. Monday and attacked the male victim with the axe. The man told police he heard someone tampering with the door just before Perry barged in, according to a police affidavit.

Perry allegedly hit the man on the head with the axe and a porcelain statue, which shattered, police said. The victim needed staples for the head wounds and stitches for a hand injury, police said.

Perry allegedly pushed his ex-girlfriend to the ground, and she suffered lacerations to her head and thumb from the axe.

Both victims said Perry threatened to kill them during the attack, according to the affidavit.

Both were covered with blood when officers arrived, police said. They were taken to AHN Forbes Hospital in Monroeville.

A nearby resident said police were checking with neighbors around 9:30 a.m. She said the victims had lived at the apartment for only a few weeks. Police said Perry fled before investigators arrived.

“They were canvassing door-to-door, asking if we saw anything or knew where (the suspect) ran to,” the neighbor said.

She saw the victims later Monday at their apartment after they were treated at the hospital.

“They just picked up a few personal items and went to stay with relatives,” she said. “They looked terrible ... bandaged all over. I felt really bad for them.”

Irwin police did not respond to messages left at the department.

Irwin police had gone to the same apartment Feb. 25 for a reported assault involving Perry and the two victims, according to the affidavit. No charges were filed in connection with that alleged incident.

Perry is charged with two counts each of attempted homicide, stalking and terroristic threats, and four counts of aggravated assault. He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 24.

Perry was charged by Penn Township police in January with reckless endangerment and harassment for allegedly tackling his 14-year-old son, who has medical conditions, police said. The woman he allegedly attacked Monday posted his $3,000 bond in that previous case on Jan. 10, according to court records.

Perry was sentenced to four years' probation on simple assault and reckless endangerment offenses for his role in a 2009 attack involving the use of brass knuckles, according to court records. The male victim in that case had lacerations and a broken clavicle and nose. Two others also were charged in that case.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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