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MIDDLETOWN STABBING VICTIM ‘CRITICAL’

A 29-year-old Keansburg woman was in stable but critical condition Thursday night after being stabbed repeatedly at a housewares store in Middletown, the Star-Ledger website NJ.com reports.

A 19-year-old suspect, Tyrik Haynes, of Middletown, was in custody, facing attempted murder and other charges in the attack, which occurred at the Bed Bath & Beyond store on Route 35 North.

The victim, who was not immediately identified by authorities, “was taken by helicopter to an area hospital where she is listed in critical but stable condition,” according to the report.

CBS News in New York identified the victim as Kerri Dalton, citing her family as its source. Dalton had a baby with her and was inside the store when the attack occurred, but the child was unhurt, CBS reported.

The Sledger reported that a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office did not know if the attack, in which the victim did not know her assailant, took place inside or outside the store.

Haynes was apprehended at a location other than the store, according to reports.

Haynes was charged last month with intentionally setting on fire a cat, using aerosol and matches to “torch” it on Christmas Eve, the Sledger says.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Haynes had purchased the cat at a pet store next door to the housewares store, and that his presence there Thursday had prompted the store to alert Chief Victor “Buddy” Amato of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who told the newspaper he responded to the scene.

“They said he was walking back and forth in front of the store, eyeing people and looking in windows,” Amato told the Press. “I stayed for an hour to make sure he didn’t come back.”

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