Homeless man stabbed at Methodist church

Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 8:51 p.m. CST; updated 5:52 p.m. CST, Friday, February 11, 2011

*CORRECTION: Patric Balerio is 45. An earlier version of this story reported the wrong age.

COLUMBIA — A verbal confrontation between two homeless men left one with minor injuries to his face Thursday night.

Police were called to the parking lot off Tenth Street behind Missouri United Methodist Church at 6:23 p.m., Columbia Police Officer Barbara Buck said.

Patric Balerio, *45, was stabbed in the face with a black pen, causing minor injuries at the outside corners of both eyes and on the side of his nose. Balerio was treated for his injuries in an ambulance but not taken to a hospital.

Balerio, who said he is from Oklahoma, said he and the other man were in the church lobby when they started arguing. They went outside, and the other man used a black ballpoint pen to stab Balerio three times, Balerio said. The man also tried to stab two others at the church, but Balerio wrestled him down, he said. Balerio then asked a friend to call the police.

Police declined the name the suspect at the scene, but he was taken into custody on Tenth Street, behind the church.

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