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Goldenvale Stabbing
[08/25/2003] [News]

The following message came across the Goldenvale list and is quoted in its entirety.


Some of you may have heard a rumor that an Amtgard member in Crystal Groves was involved in an assault/Injury of one of our members on Sunday August 17, 2003. David Banzhoff known to our members as Damien Wyvern is being held at the Washington County Jail on pending charges, stemming from a domestic incident that happened away from Amtgard on Sunday Night around 10pm.

His brother-in-law was seriously injured in this incident and is still in the hospital.

Due to the circumstances of the incident, I am initiating action to remove David Banzhoff - not only from our group, but also from Kingdom of Goldenvale and Amtgard. I feel this is the only action we can take to ensure the safety of this group and all groups with in Amtgard.

The severity of the charges and the incident in question leave no doubt in my mind that this member is liability to this game that none of us can afford. If anyone has any questions regarding this action please direct them to our monarchy or to our BOD members. Please do not let this incident taint this group, its reputation with in the community or Amtgard.

We are a group of over 150 members and sometimes things happen that none of us understand. It is not for us to judge or otherwise form an opinion of why David Banzhoff chose the path that he did. That's up to the courts. My only concern is for the members of this game, their comfort and, their safety.

I am including the following news articles resulting from this incident to clarify the nature of the incident and its aftermath.

Monday August 18, 2003
Man stabbed with sword

Hagerstown - A stabbing at a downtown apartment Sunday left a city man with life-threatening injuries and a second man in police custody, the Hagerstown Police Department said.

Michael Brandon Barnett, 21, of 113 E. Franklin St., Apt. B, suffered a stab wound to the lower abdomen in the incident, which occurred around 10 p.m., according to a press release from the police department.

Barnett was undergoing surgery Sunday night at Washington County Hospital and his condition was unknown, the release said.

Renner said a man identified as a suspect in the stabbing was taken into custody without incident inside the apartment. The man's identity was not released late Sunday.

The men apparently knew each other, and multiple people witnessed the stabbing, said Sgt. Mark Renner of the Hagerstown Police Department. City police believe a 3-foot-long decorative sword was used during an altercation at the residence.

Less than 20 minutes after the stabbing, emergency workers yelled frantically for a crowd of people gathered outside the building to clear a path as they removed the victim from the property on a gurney.

"It's a pretty serious injury," Renner said. "According to the ambulance, it is life-threatening."

Renner said Barnett and an uninjured female, who may have been in the residence at the time of the incident, were taken to Washington County Hospital.

Tuesday August 19, 2003
City man charged in stabbing

A Hagerstown man remained hospitalized Monday after being stabbed in the abdomen with a sword Sunday evening, and his brother-in-law was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on charges of attempted murder, Hagerstown City Police said.

Police and emergency crews were called to 113 E. Franklin St., Apartment B, after a stabbing was reported at about 10 p.m., police said.

Michael Brandon Barnett, 21, of 113 E. Franklin St., Apt. B, suffered a stab wound to his abdomen, Lt. Rick Johnson said Monday. Johnson said Barnett received a single puncture wound. Doctors at Washington County Hospital performed surgery Sunday night, and he was listed in fair condition Monday.

David Allen Banzhoff Jr., 23, Barnett's brother-in-law, was being held Monday on $165,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center. Banzhoff, who has the same address as Barnett, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second- degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Banzhoff's fiancee and his sister apparently had been arguing at the apartment he shared with Barnett, Johnson said.

According to allegations in charging documents filed in Washington County District Court, Banzhoff went upstairs to his bedroom and retrieved a Japanese-style sword with a blade approximately 33 inches long.

When Banzhoff came downstairs with the sword, arguing continued, and Banzhoff said that if "anyone touched his fiancee that he would cut their hands off," police alleged in court papers.

Johnson alleged that an unarmed Barnett approached Banzhoff, and Banzhoff lunged at Barnett with the sword.

Police took Banzhoff into custody without incident, Johnson said. At a bail review hearing Monday afternoon, District Judge Ralph H. France reduced Banzhoff's initial bond of $300,000 to $165,000, after Banzhoff's lawyer explained that his client was a lifelong resident of Washington County, and apparently had no criminal background.

In Service,

Lady Master Cira, Duchess of Crystal Groves, Kingdom of Goldenvale

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