A Villages of Urbana resident was arrested for attempted murder and assault charges after he tried to stab a man in Urbana‚Äôs Giant store parking lot on June 17.
The resident, 30-year-old Michael Mayberry, was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, attempted second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. According to the police report as well as eyewitnesses reports, the victim, Russell Gates, had just left the Atlantic Grille. Gates was dropping leftover food in his car when he was approached by Mayberry from behind.
Mayberry, who lives on Penrose Street in the Villages of Urbana, allegedly pulled out a serrated-blade knife and, without word, attacked Gates. Gates yelled for help and struggled with Mayberry, suffering cuts to his cheek and hand. When Gates‚Äô son came to help, Mayberry stopped, put the knife away and walked to the parking lot. Several witnesses called 911. When police arrived on the scene, Mayberry again pulled out his knife but stood mute.
According to VOU resident Jared Hayes, Mayberry is known in the area as ‚ÄúBig Mike‚ÄĚ because of his large stature. Hayes said Mayberry had been loitering around Pizza Hut for most of the evening.
‚ÄúI was at the Atlantic Grille, and when I went outside, I heard sirens getting louder,‚ÄĚ Hayes said. ‚ÄúI saw a large man wielding a knife and two people running away, yelling, ‚ÄėHe stabbed him, he stabbed him!‚Äô
Two Frederick County deputies approached, drew their guns as the suspect again pulled out the knife. ‚ÄúThey asked him five times to drop his knife but he refused,‚ÄĚ Hayes said. ‚ÄúOne officer said to the other, ‚ÄėGrab your taser,‚Äô and Mayberry dropped the knife, got on his knees ‚Ä¶ and the cops handcuffed him.
‚ÄúMy family has lived in the Villages for almost five years, and I recognized him right away. He walks around the community all the time asking people for cigarettes or money.‚ÄĚ
Chandler Schwede and her family have lived across the street from Mayberry and his mother since they moved to Urbana a year ago.
‚ÄúHe seemed very shy and quiet and rarely spoke,‚ÄĚ Schwede said, ‚Äúexcept for a few times he asked for a ride, a couple of dollars, or he once asked my husband to play basketball.‚ÄĚ
Schwede said he often stood or sat on his porch, either watching children playing or seeming to stare off into space.
‚ÄúWe were a little cautious of him, especially around our kids, since he seemed to watch them on the playground,‚ÄĚ Schwede said. ‚ÄúBut most us were shocked by this and never expected him to do something extreme.‚ÄĚ
Schwede has children ages 7 and 5. ‚ÄúWe will all be a little more careful from now on,‚ÄĚ she said.
According to deputies, Mayberry refused to speak about the assault when he was arrested.
Hayes said he was impressed by the police response to the situation. ‚ÄúThe fact that he was arrested without incident was great, and I commend the officers on that.‚ÄĚ
Gates was treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital and released the same day. At press time, Mayberry was being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bail until his arraignment.