Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Passers-by rescue woman being stabbed near Clearwater park

CLEARWATER — Two people walking near Crest Lake Park before dawn Tuesday came upon a horrific scene: a 20-year-old woman being repeatedly stabbed by a large man.

Police say one of the passers-by fought off the attacker, who was the wounded woman's ex-boyfriend. The knife-wielding assailant drove off and was arrested hours later after he overdosed on pills and got into a car wreck in Pasco County, investigators said.

The stabbing attack occurred about 3:15 a.m. in the 300 block of S Glenwood Avenue, on the west side of the park near downtown Clearwater.

Melissa Dohme, 20, who lives next to the park, was stabbed several times in the upper body and was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, police said. She identified her attacker as her former boyfriend — Robert L. Burton, 20, of St. Petersburg.

The two witnesses who intervened and stopped the stabbing were not injured. The Clearwater Police Department isn't naming the witnesses, but officials say it was a man and his girlfriend who happened to be in the area at the time.

"The actions the male witness took were commendable," said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. "He pulled the suspect off of the victim and struggled with him before the suspect ran away. Many people would not have intervened, especially given the circumstances and what was taking place."

Burton, the suspect in the case, is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds, according to jail records.

About 7 a.m. Tuesday, hours after the attack, Burton got into a traffic crash in Hudson, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Clearwater police say Burton had apparently overdosed on unknown pills and was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson.

Burton was still undergoing medical treatment later Tuesday but was expected to recover. When he regains consciousness, he'll be placed under arrest, police said. When he's released from the hospital, he'll be taken to the Pasco County Jail to await extradition to Pinellas County.

Burton was previously arrested last October on a charge of domestic battery. He was arrested again in December for failing to appear in court on the battery charge, according to Pinellas County Jail records.

Meanwhile, Dohme remained in critical condition at Bayfront on Tuesday. Her Facebook page indicates that she's a country music fan who attended Clearwater High School.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151.

Passers-by rescue woman being stabbed near Clearwater park 01/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.