03/15/09 — Sibling stabs dad to stop alleged assault

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Sibling stabs dad to stop alleged assault

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 15, 2009 2:00 AM

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office charged a Goldsboro area man for allegedly choking his 9-year-old autistic son until he turned purple, forcing his 11-year-old daughter to stab him in the arm to stop him, authorities say.

John Alexander Saywer, 36, of Combs Road, was charged with assault on a handicapped person and assault with a deadly weapon on Friday, records show.

A magistrate set Sawyer's bond at $20,000 after the incident, which occurred Wednesday evening.

Sheriff's Office detectives did not arrest Sawyer immediately, as the investigation into the matter continued late Wednesday and into Thursday.

Deputies said Sawyer had to be taken to the hospital for a stab wound to his arm.

According to a deputy's narrative, the 11-year-old told authorities she entered the living room and found her father allegedly assaulting her 9-year-old brother.

The daughter told Sheriff's Office deputies her brother had started to turn "purple," according to the initial report.

After making unsuccessful efforts to stop her father from choking the boy, the girl told officers she reportedly ran and fetched a kitchen knife.

She said she then stabbed her father in the arm, stopping the attack.

According to state law, an assault on a handicapped person is any attack on someone who has any illness that "would substantially impair the person's ability to defend himself."

The arresting officer was not immediately available for comment on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon.