At Haunted House, a Horrifying Accident

22-year-old worker charged with negligent assault in Ohio after accidentally stabbing 11-year-old
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2021 9:54 AM CDT
Haunted House Actor Accidentally Stabs Boy, 11
A haunted house worker allegedly stabbed a young boy.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A boy told an actor at a haunted house that he wasn't scared of his fake blade immediately before the actor allegedly stabbed the 11-year-old with what turned out to be a real Bowie-style knife. The 22-year-old actor was trying to scare people at the entrance to 7 Floors of Hell, a haunted house attraction at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio, around 8pm on Sept. 18 when he encountered the boy and a friend. "He walked up to my son and he was holding the knife, and his intentions were to scare him, but my son responded to him by saying, 'That's fake. I'm not scared,''' the boy's mother, Karen Bednarski, tells WEWS.

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That's when the actor—identified as Christopher Pogozelski—began stabbing the ground at the boy's feet, accidentally piercing the big toe of the boy's left foot through his Crocs-style sandals, leaving a cut about a third of an inch long, per CNN. WOIO has a photo. The boy was given first aid, while Pogozelski "was very apologetic and stayed with the boy the whole time," Rodney Geffert, president of Night Scream Entertainment, which owns the attraction, tells CNN. "It was an accident." Still, Geffert said the actor was fired. Actors were only to use prop weapons made of rubber and foam, but "he went to his car and [got the real knife] on his own free will," he said.

Further medical treatment was refused before the boy, his mother, and his friend continued inside the haunted house. But Bednarski ultimately decided to pursue charges. "There's got to be something wrong with him, and he should not be working at an establishment like that," she tells WEWS of Pogozelski. The actor told police he didn't intend to hurt anyone, but it was "obviously a poor decision on his part to bring a real knife to the fairgrounds," Berea Police Lt. Tom Walker tells WEWS. He's now charged with negligent assault. (Read more haunted house stories.)

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