TORRINGTON — The pre-trial hearing of the New Milford man accused of stabbing another man back in August was continued Friday to Jan. 31.
The altercation was the culmination of a text message argument between Dion Bernier Jr., 27, and his victim, according to a report filed by the New Milford Police Department following the Aug. 1 incident.
Bernier was charged with first-degree assault, as well as tampering with physical evidence, after police say he stabbed a 28-year-old acquaintance that morning.
Officers responded to a call about an altercation at Bernier’s Grove Street home around 8:40 a.m. and found the victim “walking around the driveway with what appeared to be a stab wound to his abdomen,” police said.
Bernier “apparently told (a sergeant) he had no weapons on him,” according to the report, but police found a folding pocket knife clipped to his pants at the scene.
Two other people — a 43-year-old man from Danbury and a taxi driver — were also at the scene.
The driver told police he picked up the Danbury man and the victim that morning, and was at the Grove Street residence to pick up Bernier and bring them all to a methadone clinic in Danbury. He said he had driven the three of them to the clinic before and “believed them to be friends,” according to police.
The 43-year-old man told police that when he and the victim pulled up to Bernier’s residence in the cab, the victim told him Bernier had sent him a text message saying he was going to “put a knife to (the victim’s) throat or slit (his) throat,” according to the police report.
He said Bernier came outside, the victim got out of the taxi and the two started fighting. After hearing the victim say he had been stabbed, the witness told police, he got out of the car and saw the victim “bleeding from his stomach.”
Bernier was placed under arrest shortly before 9 a.m., police said, and the victim was transported to Danbury Hospital, where he underwent abdominal surgery.
Bernier pleaded not guilty to the assault and evidence-tampering charges. He remains in custody on $250,000 bond.
He is being represented by the Avon-based Law Office of Pat Brown at state Superior Court of the Litchfield Judicial District in Torrington.