VAN WERT — A Van Wert man who was stabbed in the neck June 23 in what has been described as an argument over another man’s use of a racial epithet is recovering at home. Meanwhile a 23-year-old Illinois man faces preliminary charges of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, in connection with the incident.
A statement from the Van Wert Police Department states that officers were dispatched at approximately 3 p.m. June 23 to 422 N. Washington St. in reference to a male who had been stabbed. Officers and EMS personnel arrived on scene and the victim, Joshua Dangler, was transported to Van Wert Health for treatment.
After an investigation, the suspect was identified as David Hecox, of Pittsfield, Illinois. Detectives, along with the assistance of the Van Wert Sheriff’s Office, located Hecox at his place of employment as a road flagger for a wind turbine company.
Police said Hecox was found to have blood on his clothing and in the vehicle he had been driving. He was taken into custody and the case was turned over to the Van Wert Co. Prosecutor’s Office.
Facebook accounts indicate Dangler was stabbed in the neck and/or face. He spent time in the intensive care unit of the hospital before being released. Erica Dangler, at the request of Josh Dangler’s mother, has established a GoFundMe page on Facebook to help the family defray medical expenses. Dangler had no medical insurance at the time of the accident.
The site had raised more than $8,000 by noon Wednesday.
According to the VW Independent online newspaper, witnesses said Hecox came back to the North Washington Street residence after leaving a local bar. He reportedly started to use racial epithets, so he was told to leave. Dangler went outside with Hecox and returned bleeding, saying he was stabbed in the neck.
The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office and VWPD detectives and located Hecox working at a job site. He had a utility knife, blood on his clothing, and the vehicle he drove also contained blood.
Hecox was taken into custody to await a hearing in Van Wert Municipal Court.