Mental health concerns put Walmart stabbing case on hold

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A case against a man accused of stabbing a woman at random at a local Walmart will be on hold for some time while questions about his mental competency are weighed.

Jerod Coty, 30, faces six charges from the attack last year — two felony counts of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Springettsbury Township police alleged Coty, of no fixed address, used a folding knife to stab a woman three times in the back while she stood in front of him in line at the Walmart at 2801 E. Market St., on the afternoon of Sept. 3.

Jerod Coty

When police arrived at the store, investigators said they found Coty already on the ground with his hands on his head. The knife was found nearby, and a witness identified him, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim appeared to have serious injuries, according to police.

Coty was taken into custody and then interviewed, according to the complaint. He allegedly told investigators he decided to stab a person at random so he could be arrested and sent back to York County Prison.

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The incident reportedly occurred one day after he was released from the prison in connection with a separate case. Court documents indicate he had pleaded guilty to a summary trespassing offense in district court on Sept. 2.

In the stabbing case, Coty advanced out of a district court and was arraigned into the York County Court of Common Pleas in November.

A hearing was then held Jan. 17, where his attorney, Diana Spurlin, noted that a petition to determine Coty’s mental competency to stand trial had been filed earlier this month.

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She said with the judge’s approval, the case proceedings will be stayed while the competency evaluation is underway.

Judge Harry Ness indicated the documents were signed.

No further hearings are scheduled in the case while proceedings are stayed.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.