1 city, 1 hour, 1 `crisis': 7 hurt by knives, 1 shot.


Byline: Thomas Caywood

WORCESTER - The city erupted into a spasm of violence early yesterday morning during one hour when seven people who had been stabbed or sliced with knives and one who took a bullet in the leg turned up at three local hospitals, police said.

None of the injuries, resulting from five separate incidents between 2 and 3 a.m., was considered life-threatening, police said.

All but one of the victims were treated at area hospitals and released, said Worcester police Detective Sgt. Gary J. Quitadamo.

The shooting, on Cutler Street, appeared related to an earlier knife attack outside a Commercial Street nightclub, in which a city man allegedly injured several people while swinging a knife wildly in a closing-time melee outside Club Voodoo, Sgt. Quitadamo said.

The other three knife attacks, on Main, West and King streets, did not appear related to any of the others, said Sgt. Quitadamo, who along with other detectives worked from early morning into late afternoon yesterday investigating the spate of violence.

Even before yesterday morning's stabbings, police and prosecutors had been scrambling to adapt

laws and put a new one on the books to curb knife violence in the city, which has increased dramatically this year.

Police Chief Gary J. Gemme and Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. have been collaborating to enforce a previously obscure state law under which a person can be charged for possessing a blade amid a public disturbance. They also are backing a proposed city ordinance that would make it a crime to carry certain kinds of knives that have little use other than as weapons.

The city man arrested outside Club Voodoo for lashing out at the crowd with his blade will face the dusted-off state charge and other charges, police said.

Irving A. Dejesus, 25, of 2 Plane St., who police said injured three people in the melee and was injured himself, is charged with armed assault to murder, two charges of assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon during a disturbance, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and malicious destruction of property.

Police Sgt. Gregory T. Ryan was outside Club Voodoo helping to clear the closing-time crowd from the street when he saw a man lashing out with what appeared to be a knife.

"The suspect was swinging the knife in the crowd," Sgt. Quitadamo said.

Sgt. Ryan and other officers converged on the man, whom police have...

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