Photo | Lagniappe
Robert Chapman, 43, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder this week after allegedly stabbing another patron at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club June 20.
The man accused of stabbing another patron multiple times following a verbal altercation at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club last week has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder.
According to the Mobile Police Department, 43-year-old Robert Chapman was taken into custody and charged with first-degree assault following the stabbing, which was first reported to police around 9 p.m., June 20.
Due to the severity of the injuries, Chapman’s charge was later upgraded to attempted murder.
The victim, a 65-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, but his current status is unknown. Court records identified the victim as Cedric Sutherland, a regular at the eatery, though police have not formally released his name to the press.
Chapman does not appear to have any record of prior arrests in the area, which was listed as one of the reasons he was granted a bond and released from jail in less than three days.
During a June 22 hearing, Presiding District Judge George Hardesty ordered Chapman’s release under a $50,000 bond and with a requirement to have no contact with the stabbing victim or any witnesses to the crime.
During his initial arraignment on the attempted murder charge, Chapman was represented in court by his defense attorney, John Brutkiewicz. He advised the court Chapman would be pleading not guilty to the charge and the judge set a preliminary hearing for July 25.
According to witness statements immediately after the June 20 attack, both Chapman and the victim were regulars at Callaghan’s. It’s unclear what started their altercation, but some have said the victim threatened Chapman’s life before he was attacked.
According to police reports, Sutherland was stabbed multiple times in the neck and in both of his arms with a knife. One witness said Chapman calmly laid the knife on the bar after the attack. Photos from the scene showed a pool of blood and bloody towels on the bar floor.
A popular spot in Mobile’s Oakleigh Garden District, Callaghan’s has previously been named “The South’s Best Bar” by Southern Living Magazine and “The Best Bar in America” by Esquire Magazine.
John Thompson, who has owned and operated Callaghan’s since it opened 14 years ago, said there’s never been an incident like last week’s attack there before. The restaurant closed for one day following the incident but has since reopened and continued its regular business.
In a post on Callaghan’s social media pages, Thompson said the “violent incident” was “very sudden, unforeseen and unimaginable” for Callaghan’s. He also thanked the staff members and customers who assisted the victim, writing “they very well may have saved his life.”