BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — BEVERLY — A Beverly man is being held without bail after his arrest in an early morning stabbing in a new apartment complex on Rantoul Street.
Dennis Lassiter, 25, of 79 Rantoul St., pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, two counts of assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court.
Hours earlier, just after 1 a.m., police were called to the recently opened Enterprise Apartments for a report of a bloody fight in a hallway that was still going on when police arrived.
The stabbing victim had Lassiter in a headlock. Police separated the men and handcuffed them.
The victim suffered a knife wound on his forearm and a slash across his forehead, police said in their report.
Both he and Lassiter were intoxicated, police said.
Witnesses said they and the victim had just returned from a night out and ran into Lassiter in the hallway. The victim and his friends invited Lassiter to their apartment for drinks. But the friendly gathering turned ugly, after the victim and Lassiter began to argue.
Lassiter allegedly claimed to police that the fight occurred after a friend of the victim made sexual advances toward him.
Lassiter was asked to leave, and two friends of the victim also went outside, where the fight started. During the fight, Lassiter allegedly went to his apartment and retrieved two knives.
He then allegedly went after the victim and a woman, stabbing the man and punching the woman. He later allegedly spit blood on her as well.
Another resident of the apartment where Lassiter was living later turned over two J.A. Henckels knives, one with a broken tip, that Lassiter had taken from the knife block in her kitchen.
Lassiter, interviewed at the hospital, claimed that one of the victim’s friends had made a sexual advance toward him and that he then left, but was followed. He said he then “blacked out” and does not remember what happened after that, according to the police report.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.