UPDATE: Suspect arrested in stabbing of homeless man

Friday, February 11, 2011 | 6:54 p.m. CST; updated 8:05 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man in connection with the stabbing of another man Thursday night in downtown Columbia.

The police said the assault occurred after an argument between two homeless men turned violent outside Missouri United Methodist Church.

Darrell Branson, 56, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault. He was being held on $4,500 bond.

Columbia police Public Information Officer Sgt. Jill Wieneke said in an e-mail that Patric Balerio, 45, was stabbed in the face with a pen. He received several puncture wounds to the face.

He was treated at the scene by emergency personnel and did not require hospitalization, according to a previous Missourian article.

Police were called at 6:23 p.m. to the parking lot off Tenth Street, behind the church.

Wieneke said police found Branson walking from an area near Tenth and Cherry streets and took him into custody without incident.

In an e-mail, the Rev. Keith Vessel of Missouri United Methodist Church wrote that the church has increased security beginning at 6 p.m. each night. Both men also have been banned from the Room at the Inn shelter, the e-mail stated.

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