Police: Man stabbed in $100 debt fight
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | March 28,2013
A late-night fight in Rutland over a $100 debt sent one man to the hospital with stab wounds, according to city police.
Police were called to 118 State St. at 9:42 p.m. Tuesday for a report that two men were fighting outside the residence.
When city police officers arrived, only one of the reported combatants was there — Michael Bielski, 34, of Rutland. Police Sgt. James Tarbell said the other suspected fighter was Paul Smith, 43, of Leicester, who drove to Rutland Regional Medical Center before police arrived at the scene. Both men have been charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct which they will answer to in court on a later date.
When officers went to the hospital looking for him, Smith’s wounds had been dressed and bandaged and he refused to cooperate with investigators, the sergeant said.
“He didn’t want to talk about it at all,” Tarbell said.
Police learned most of what they know about the incident from talking to those at the scene, including Bielski, who told police that the fight started over a debt he owed to Smith.
Bielski told police he drew a folding knife from his pocket during the fight and stabbed Smith repeatedly as an act of self-defense.
“He said he was getting punched in the face and decided to use the knife,” Tarbell said. “Paul Smith outweighs him by about 150 pounds.”
Wounds to Smith’s side and under his chin were observed by police who visited the hospital. Bielski received a cut to his thumb, police said.
Tarbell said police considered a greater criminal charge in connection with the stabbing but did not due to the lack of cooperation from Smith.