According to the Montgomery County District Attorney, one man is now dead after a coworker sought revenge for a simple prank. Wednesday news broke of a stabbing at the Franconia Township-based MOPAC Rendering Plant on Souder Road.
DA Risa Vetri Ferman and Franconia Township Police Chief Joseph Kozniewski announced Thursday that they will be filing of criminal charges against Peter Jok Atem, 32, for the murder of Danny Vazquez, 25.
FTPD reported that they responded to the 700 block of Souder Road for a report of a stabbing victim Wednesday morning.
“The victim, identified as Danny Vazquez, was transported by Harleysville Ambulance to Abington-Lansdale Hospital and pronounced dead,” said the police. “A joint investigation by the Montgomery County Detectives and the Franconia Police was commenced.”
It did not take them long to find out what had happened.
“The investigation revealed that the victim and defendant were co-workers at the rendering plant and that on Feb. 17, 2015 [Vazquez] tried to pull a chair out from under [Atem],” said police. “Following the prank, the defendant told the victim that he was ‘going to get you for that.’”
Come Thursday, Atem followed up on his “promise.”
“While at work in the rendering plant, a witness saw the defendant in a physical confrontation with Vazquez,” said police. “The defendant had the victim on the floor and was choking him. The victim was able to get away from the defendant and the witness returned to work.”
The altercation, however, was not over.
“A short time later, the witness heard screaming and witnessed the defendant stabbing Vazquez,” said the police reports. “Following the stabbing, the witness tried to get help for Vazquez at a nearby office but the victim collapsed outside the office, uttered his last words, and became unresponsive.”
DA Ferman said police quickly covered the business, looking for Atem.
“Officers located the defendant a short distance from the stabbing scene where he was hiding in a shed,” said Ferman. “Officers observed stab and/or slash wounds to the defendant that appeared to be self-inflicted.”
The defendant was rushed to Paoli Memorial Hospital for treatment of his wounds. He underwent surgery, and remains in the hospital at this time. Near the defendant in the shed, police located a knife.
The knife was not the only evidence recovered by FTPD. Police also found a note on Atem.
“The note said in part, ‘see you in hell. life for life,’” said Ferman.
An autopsy was performed at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Thursday morning.
“Autopsy results revealed that Vazquez died of multiple stab wounds and the manner of death was ruled homicide,” said Ferman.
Charges have been filed against the defendant for first degree murder and related offenses. It is unknown when Atem will be able to stand for his charges.
“Because of the defendant’s medical condition, details regarding the arraignment are still pending and police are with the defendant at the hospital,” said Ferman.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Alec O’Neill and Heather Hines.