‘I’m scarred for life’: Dyke Industries stabbing victim recalls day, aftermath of attack
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It has been two years since a violent workplace attack shook the Capital City.
Five people were stabbed and one was left critically injured at the Dyke Industries warehouse on Tallahassee’s northwest side.
The incident caught national attention then and still haunts the victims now.
Now, for the first time, the public is hearing from one of the survivors about what happened that day.
Antonio Stevens was stabbed five times that day and lost a third of his blood. He says he’s speaking out to change the narrative and tell people about what really happened.
“It only lasted about maybe a minute and a half,” Stevens recalled. “It was so quick.”
It was a normal day at work that quickly turned violent and has scarred Stevens forever.
“He just went around stabbing everybody,” he said.
A disagreement between a manager and employee Antwann Brown had escalated into an attack inside the offices of the local building materials plant.
Stevens attempted to step in amid the commotion.
“He was doing like this here but I didn’t feel nothing,” Stevens said as he demonstrated. “So I just picked him up and body slammed him.
Stevens didn’t realize it right away, but that action would leave him with five stab wounds in the face, neck, chest and back.
But the physical wounds, perhaps, not as bad as the emotional ones.
“I just started back looking in the mirror, about seven months ago. I won’t even look because it reminded me of what happened,” Stevens said. “I’m scarred for life.”
Stevens hasn’t been able to return to work and only recently started leaving the house again. His PTSD has him fighting for his life in his nightmares.
“I just couldn’t walk by where I almost died,” he said.
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It’s an effect that the then-acting Chief of Police had warned about that very day while the suspect was still being interrogated by police.
“This will always ben an anniversary day for some of the coworkers,” said former Tallahassee Interim Police Chief Steve Outlaw. “They’re going to be haunted by this.”
Luckily, first responders were close by, at a 9/11 memorial just down the street, making for a quick response on that terrifying day in Tallahassee.
In the end, five men were stabbed and nearly every investigative agency in the Capitol City was left searching for clues as to what prompted such a sudden and violent attack.
“As far as we know,” Outlaw said, “It was spontaneous.”
Court records say Brown later confessed to the stabbing spree. After believing he was going to be fired, Brown told investigators he entered a “dark place” where he could see demons.
Stevens doesn’t buy it.
“If you go down the street and call your pastor and tell them that, ‘Forgive me for what I’m about to do.’ Really?” Stevens said.
Brown has a lengthy criminal record and mental health issues. Held without bond, he was initially found incompetent to stand trial.
A finding that has since been reversed.
Court filings show he plans to claim insanity as his defense.
Meanwhile, his victims are left to deal with their sudden brush with death.
“I found I don’t trust nobody,” Stevens said.
Which is why he wants to focus on the details you won’t find in the police reports or the court records, like the heroic efforts of his colleagues that day.
Like the co-worker who applied a tourniquet, the dock workers who cornered the suspect.
“Everyone pulled together. That’s what really happened,” he said.
Steven hopes to move on, perhaps put his degrees in social psychology to use to help counsel other victims of assault.
WCTV reached out to Dyke Industries and Brown’s public defender for this story, but did not hear back.
Brown has a case management hearing scheduled for Monday, September 20.
The State Attorney’s office says they are looking forward to moving forward with the case and bringing justice to the victims.
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