One man was killed and three others injured during a June 23rd
Michael John Pyne was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, battery and assault in the death of Thomas Laskas and for allegedly stabbing three others with a pocketknife. He is being held without bail.
According to police, Laskas and bartender Dallas Ashe were trying to break up a fight between Laskas’ wife, Wendy, and Pyne’s girlfriend, Monica Pennucci. Pyne allegedly jumped in and started punching and stabbing concert-goers with the knife, then ran out of the club, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Thomas Laskas, 29, died of multiple stab wounds at a nearby hospital. Wendy Laskas, who was stabbed in the abdomen, was released from a hospital several days later. Ashe was treated at the scene for his injuries. Another man was treated for a puncture wound to the abdomen and released.
Pyne admitted to police he had a knife at the club but said he doesn’t remember what happened after he saw his girlfriend get into the fight.
Attorney Luke Lirot, who represents the club, told the paper there were about 250 people in the 1,250-capacity venue at the time of the attack. Apparently, it took the band a few minutes to realize what was happening and stop playing.
The members of COC posted a statement on their Web site saying, “In twenty-plus years of gigging, we’ve never seen anything like this. It’s sad that people can’t come together for a good time listening to music without something tragic happening.”