Victim, witnesses tell their side of the story about Kent stabbings

Andrew Schiller

Two men, Tremaine Bessem-Asu, 26, and Jarad Granc, 27, were stabbed near Mugs early Saturday morning, according to a Kent City Police criminal case report.

A plastic knife case, Gerber knife, marijuana joint and Nokia cell phone were collected as evidence. Lt. Jayme Cole said the case is still under investigation and could make no further comment as of yesterday.

Contrary to the police report, Granc said three people – he and two of his friends, Bessem-Asu and Chris Rochowiak – were stabbed between the Pufferbelly and the train car that sits on the tracks along Franklin Avenue. Rochowiak was taken to Robinson Memorial Hospital, and Bessem-Asu was taken to Akron City Hospital. Granc said he drove himself to Robinson Memorial.

“Chris has got a solid leg splint on to keep him from bending his leg,” he said Tuesday. “Tre is on a cane, and I’m on crutches.”

Cynthia Granc, Jarad’s step-mother, said yesterday that Tre is back in the hospital.

“He went for a follow-up yesterday (Tuesday), and they admitted him because he has a blood clot in his leg,” she said. An Akron City Hospital representative said Tre’s condition was satisfactory as of yesterday.

Granc said the incident resulted from a fight at Mugs.

“I don’t even know who the guy was that stuck me,” he said. “He smacked my brother’s beer out of his hand and pushed me, and I pushed him back into the bar, and then he came running at me.”

Then Granc and the unidentified man were thrown out of Mugs, he said.

“As I come outside the bar, there was a guy wielding a knife at me trying to cut me, so I danced around him into the street, trying to not get stabbed.

Granc and the other man made their way over to the train tracks, during which time two of Granc’s friends came outside, he said.

“Him (Tre) and Chris came out the bar and seen it, and they came over,” Granc said. “I’m trying to steer clear of him swinging a knife blade at my side,” Granc said. “My sister’s fiancé (Chris) pushed him down and that’s when he stuck me in the leg.

“Right when he stuck me, he stuck Chris (in the knee), and when Tre was trying to get Chris back he stuck him (Tre) in the leg,” Granc said. “I thought he just punched me, but when I turned, my leg collapsed.”

“Four of his friends tried to jump me outside the Venice café,” he said. “They come running out the bar (Mugs) and I was trying to get away from it (but) could hardly walk.” He made his way up Franklin towards Main Street and drove his sister’s car home, eventually driving to Robinson Memorial, he said.

Justin Kessler was smoking a cigarette outside and didn’t see what happened in the bar, but he did witness what happened after.

“Jarad might have pulled out a knife, but he didn’t use it or anything,” said Kessler, adding that he never saw that Granc had a knife. “The guy (in a gray and black fleece pullover) pulled out the knife first.”

Kessler said the police took him over to Water Street near Europe Gyro to identify the man who stabbed his friends.

Michael Trocchio and Ammar Husein, who also witnessed the incident, said only one person was stabbed by the man in the gray shirt, who was being assaulted.

“At least four people were kicking him,” Trocchio said. “I remember Ammar saying ‘four on one’s not fair, four on one’s not fair.'”

Contact public affairs reporter Andrew Schiller at [email protected].