The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 16, 2014

Man stabs landlord over rent, cops say

MILTON — Unable to pay his full rent, an angry Milton tenant plunged a pocket knife into his 78-year-old landlord’s chest as she sat inside her vehicle Friday afternoon, according to state troopers at Milton.

Christopher J. Ayars Jr., 22, of 233½ Center St., faces attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person after he knifed Gwendolin A. Brown at 2 p.m. in the parking lot of South Gate Plaza in West Chillisquaque Township, troopers report.

Brown was taken by ambulance to Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg, where she was treated and released.

Brown told troopers she met with Ayars as usual Friday to collect rent, that he entered her vehicle and they talked briefly. Ayars then handed Brown an envelope, left her vehicle for an unknown reason and walked to his own, which was parked nearby.

When Ayars reappeared, Brown opened her driver’s-side door and the two spoke briefly again. Ayars then lunged at his landlord and used a pocket knife to pierce her upper-left chest, troopers said.

State police said he later told them “I missed,” indicating he was attempting to puncture Brown’s neck.

Brown drove to a nearby house on Route 405 to summon help, and Ayars fled.

He was captured by state police at Selinsgrove along Routes 11-15 south of Selinsgrove.

Ayars said he was unable to pay his full $590 rent when he met with Brown at their usual spot at the South Gate Plaza, troopers said. After providing his landlord $548, he said he told Brown that he could not recall something that he needed to tell her, then left her vehicle.

From his own vehicle, he grabbed a multi-tool “leatherman,” which he concealed under his clothing, troopers said, then approached Brown’s vehicle again. He told his landlord that all the money was not inside the envelope, and that he planned to scare Brown and take his rent back, according to court documents.

Ayars then became angry and knifed Brown, troopers said, but was unable to retrieve his rent money from his landlord.

He is being held at Northumberland County Prison without bail.


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