Ax Attack Suspect Sought

Monday, April 11, 2011 - 1:34pm

Police believe homeless man hit friend repeatedly with hatchet.

Police in Salisbury, Massachusetts are searching for a suspect who they say attacked another man with an ax on a recreational trail.

Salisbury police say the victim was seriously injured along the Ghost Trail.

Bill Choate says he saw the injured man stumbling down his dead end street, but couldn't tell what was wrong.

“I couldn’t see any signs of any wounds or blood or anything,” Choate said. “He looked like he had been in a fight…but I said, no, maybe he was just drinking, he’s just staggering.”

The victim was airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

State police joined the search in the wooded area near Lion's Park, a park typically full of families.

“We don't really have a lot of trouble down here, because it’s quiet,” said Michelle Kimball.

Investigators are now searching for Jay LaRose, 43, who is homeless.

Choate said he believes he may have seen the victim and attacker walking by each other shortly before the vicious assault.

“They passed each other on the trail, I was watching both of them,” he said. “You could tell they were…moving away from each other.”

With no immediate arrest, neighbors said they were surprised that something so violent happened in a place where they spend so much time.

“To hear that they’re whacking each other with axes down there, it’s…kind of creepy,” said Kimball.

The victim remained in the intensive care unit at the hospital Monday.

Police continued to search for the LaRose.

The victim and LaRose apparently knew each other.

LaRose may still be armed, officials warned.

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