Latrobe man accused of attempted homicide after stabbing caught on video
A 29-year-old Latrobe man who told police Wednesday that his friend was accidentally stabbed in the chest during a fall is charged with attempted homicide after investigators obtained a surveillance video of the altercation.
Matthew Oliver is accused of assaulting a fellow resident in a patio area outside the nine-story Latrobe Manor apartment complex at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday. In addition to attempted homicide, Oliver is charged by city police with aggravated assault, stalking, simple assault and illegal interception of communications.
The 28-year-old victim, Daniel Lattanzio, was flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh with a serious injury to his upper left chest, according to Detective Ronald Keslar.
Oliver was arraigned in night court by District Judge Joseph DeMarchis and ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $250,000 bail.
Keslar said that when officers arrived at the scene near city hall, Lattanzio was laying on the patio “bleeding profusely from a stab wound to his chest.”
Witnesses told police they heard Lattanzio yelling for Oliver to leave him alone and a scuffle between the pair ensued on the patio.
Police questioned Oliver after he was treated and released from Excela Health Latrobe Hospital after allegedly being punched in the face by Lattanzio. Oliver told investigators Lattanzio was upset because Oliver had secretly made an audio recording of a conversation between the pair.
“Oliver said Lattanzio took off his shirt … and charged him,” Keslar wrote in court documents.
Oliver told investigators he pulled out the knife for protection, and Lattanzio threw him on the ground and fell on top of Oliver, causing the stab wound.
However, Keslar said surveillance video from a nearby building acquired by police Thursday showed Oliver repeatedly approaching Lattanzio, who was sitting at a picnic table, despite repeated attempts “to get Oliver to leave.”
Keslar said in court documents that Lattanzio engaged Oliver, who had displayed the knife, and the pair fell to the ground.
“At this time, Oliver is seen removing the knife from his pocket … Oliver is observed making a swinging motion toward (Lattanzio ’s) chest with the hand that had the knife,” Keslar said.
During a police interview at the hospital, Lattanzio said he did not immediately realize he had been stabbed.
“Lattanzio said Oliver has continually harassed him for the past month by coming to his apartment at inconvenient hours. He said he had filed a complaint with his building manager regarding the continued harassment by Oliver,” Keslar said.
“Lattanzio said he had recently learned from a mutual friend that Oliver had secretly recorded a conversation. He said he had informed Oliver that they were not friends,” Keslar wrote.
Police said Lattanzio suffered a punctured lung, severe blood loss and the knife wound “was close to his heart.” He had surgery Friday to repair his injuries “and remove blood from inside his lung,” Keslar said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 14 before Unity District Judge Michael Mahady.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .