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A deaf man in Burlington, North Carolina was stabbed when another man mistook his sign language for throwing up gang sings, Wednesday (Jan. 9).

The misunderstanding occurred at around 5 p.m. Witnesses told police that the victim, 45-year-old Terrance Ervin Daniels, got into an altercation with another deaf man, and was (of course) using sign language. He was then approached by Jarell Neal who stabbed him multiple times.

Daniels collapsed in the grass where he was found by emergency personnel and transported to Alamance Regional Medical Center, where he is listed in stable condition.

With the help of a witness, Cathy Sanford, who said that Neal was walking around the neighborhood after the attack, police were able to track him down. Sanford said she was at home when she heard her dog barking and looked in her back yard where she saw Neal running through it. He apparently came back to Sanford’s house later in the day and threatened her 12-year-old granddaughter.

A warrant was obtained for Neal’s arrest and the 22-year-old was apprehended a few hours later. As of yesterday, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury and felonious assault on a handicapped person.

Neal is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond at the Burlington Police Department.

Ironically, even though he thought Daniels was throwing up gang signs, Burlington Police staff Sgt. Mark Yancey revealed that Neal isn’t even in a gang, so it is unclear what his motive may have been.



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