PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia city councilman stabbed in an attempted robbery near his residence said that he’s lucky the blade didn’t hit his vital organs.
Republican Councilman David Oh was released from the hospital on the afternoon of June 1.
“I feel very good, good health, good spirits, good everything,’’ Oh told reporters at an impromptu news conference on his front porch.
Oh said he was coming home from work the night of May 31 when a man he did not recognize approached, demanded the keys to his car and stabbed him once in the left side.
Althought Shawn Yarbray, 24, surrendered to police on June 3, his lawyer said, “At this juncture he denies all the allegations. And we’ll see what the evidence shows.” Yarbray’s stepfather said this is a case of mistaken identity and that his stepson has nothing to do with the crime.
Yarbray was charged attempted murder, along with aggravated assault, robbery, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. His bail has been set at $750,000.
The attack occurred on the block where Oh, who is married and has four children, has lived since the 1960s. Oh, first elected to the council in 2011, is the first Asian American elected to public office in Philadelphia and the only U.S. military veteran serving on the council.
He said he holds no ill will toward Yarbray. The suspect once lived two blocks from Oh’s residence.
Oh’s late father founded Philadelphia’s first Korean American church in 1953.
According to Oh’s council website , one of his cousins was murdered in 1958 by a group of teenagers while a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Oh’s parents requested leniency for the boys and started a fund to help them upon their release.
“We are all praying for Councilman Oh’s quick recovery and thinking of his family during this incredibly difficult time,’’ said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Kennedy said in a statement. “Whenever violence happens on our streets it is a terrible tragedy. When it happens near our homes, where we are supposed to feel safe, it is all the more devastating.’’