Pastor: woman tries to break up fight, stop stabbing in Lancaster which left four people injured

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Things turned violent in Lancaster Monday afternoon just after 3.

Police were called to the 500 block of North Queen Street for reports of a fight.

"We started receiving multiple calls for a fight in the area of Queen and Frederick Street, while officers were still in en route, that call was upgraded to at least one stabbing," explained Lt. Bill Hickey with Lancaster Bureau of Police.

He says officers soon found more people there with injuries.

"At least four people received some level of stabbing injury," added Lt. Hickey.

"I was at first very concerned and hoping and praying everybody was okay. My wife, my secretary, my staff, were literally ten feet from where this was happening," said Pastor Stephen Verkouw of Grace Lutheran Church of Lancaster.

Grace Lutheran Church is right across the street from where the stabbing happened, and Pastor Verkouw says he has a close relationship with people in the neighborhood.

"We own properties in the neighborhood so I have tenants on this block," he said. "One of our tenants who is a woman in her fifties went running out seeing it was kids fighting... she went running out there trying to break it up, and it appeared to be something a little bit above her pay grade as they say, so she came running back to the office, and we called 911 from there."

That woman didn't want to talk to us on camera because of threats.

"We heard some of the kids were saying you better not call 911 or someone is going to get in trouble," said Verkouw.

Police haven't yet told us how old the people involved are or why they were fighting in the first place.

We do know the incident caused a headache for drivers in the area and even slowed a local restaurant.

"Obviously, it slows things down when you have a such a main thoroughfare closed down for that long that brings people to and from us, but that's the last thing on our minds right now. Hopefully, people are okay, and hoping worst case scenario isn't so," said Michael Kambouroglos, the owner of Souvlaki Boys.

Pastor Verkouw says he hopes it doesn't shed the wrong light on what he says is an otherwise good neighborhood.

"This has been a very safe place," he said. "The hospital is nearby. Clipper stadium is nearby. We're a big church on the corner. A lot of restaurants in the area... I walk my dog overnight in the dark and never see problems."

We do know police subdued a man with a knife; Lt. Hickey says officers took that man into custody Monday afternoon.

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