Stabbing victim recounts assault

Richard La Re Jr., an electrician, was driving to his first job of the morning when a stranger stabbed him in the head on Prince William Parkway on Thursday.

But, contrary to the initial police report, a Manassas man attacked La Re with a Phillips screwdriver, not a pen, and caused more damage than originally thought, La Re said Monday.

Alton Cook, 26, of 9836 Maury Lane, stabbed La Re in the Ridgewood Center parking lot after the two men cut each other off and tailgated for several minutes, said police, who charged Cook with malicious wounding.

“The screwdriver went under my scalp about an inch and a half, ” said La Re, 27, from Centreville.

La Re, who works for Benfield Electric, said that he was driving at about 65 mph when Cook’s car “came screaming up behind” him.

La Re said he maintained his speed; Cook then began swerving and screaming, according to Le Re.

Finally, La Re said, he had had enough, and pulled into the Ridgewood Center to confront Cook.

But instead of talking, La Re said Cook started swinging the screwdriver. La Re, who initially didn’t know what Cook was holding, was able to miss the first blow, but not the second, which struck him in the back of the head, drawing blood.

“I didn’t know what it was until I saw him put it in his pocket,” La Re said. “Donald Davis Jr. (La Re’s assistant, who was with him at the time of the incident) saw the blood and the screwdriver.”

Cook could not be reached for comment.

Police arrived shortly afterward and arrested Cook. La Re, thinking that he had suffered only a flesh wound, declined medical attention.

Hours later, La Re said, his head began pounding and he developed a knot on his head at least 2 inches in diameter.

He then decided to go to the emergency room, where he underwent tests and treatment before being released.

Cook, who was released on $2,000 bond, faces a March 12 court date.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before,” La Re said. “But I do know that it’ll never happen again.”

Police would not confirm La Re was the victim in Thursday’s incident, as police do not release the names of victims.

Staff writer Adam H. Beasley can be reached at (703) 878-8073.

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