Man Nearly Run Down, Attacked with Hatchet at Utica Tractor Supply
Some scary moments for a father and his children outside the Tractor Supply in North Utica on Monday. Utica Police confirm they are investigating the incident. The man has spoken with WIBX 950 and shared some hair-raising details.
On Facebook, Michael Venettozzi first shared his version of events, which included being attacked by a man wielding a small axe at around 10:30 a.m. Monday morning at Tractor Supply on Horatio Street in North Utica, located at the farthest end of a busy commercial hub that also houses Walmart, Lowe's, Bass Pro Shops and many other retailers.
He and his young children were nearly run down by a vehicle in a parking lot there, he said. Then, after handing his kids off to his wife, he confronted the driver about it. But that's where the story takes another turn.
"...my 6yo, my 11 month old, and I were nearly struck by this driver. After handing the children off to Crys Joann I approached the driver and was immediately met by the rear seat male passenger (white male, long hair approximately 35yo) he jumped out of the vehicle and instantly began attacking me with a axe. I was able to fend off the attack and ran to my vehicle to grab my long rifle. They fled in thru the parking lot north bound toward remsen. Multiple witnesses remained on scene..."
Venettozzi said as he was trying to verbally confront the driver, he was confronted by a passenger in the backseat who came at him with a hatchet.
In speaking with WIBX 950, Venettozzi said, "I knocked my six-year-old to the ground. Then, I gave my kids to my wife, who's a corrections officer with the sheriff's department.
"When I approached the vehicle, I could see the woman was upset.," he told us. "She said she was sorry, then all of a sudden this guy - he must have been crouched down because I didn't see him at first - comes out of the back seat and says 'I got something for you'."
"He like bum-rushed me...and swung a hatchet at me," Venettozzi said.
Venettozzi says he was nearly struck by the hatchet but was able fend the man off and make his way to his vehicle where there was a rifle in his trunk. He escaped the incident uninjured.
However, Venettozzi also said he believes the female driver could be in serious danger, even speculating that she may have been the victim of a car jacking. He told WIBX what others at the scene said they witnessed beforehand now makes him think the woman nearly struck he and his kids as away to draw attention to the vehicle:
his may have been a car jacking, or domestic dispute that I interrupted. This lady is in extreme danger!!! A bolo has been put out by the Utica police department.. anyone with info to these 2 are asked to reach out to investigator serif seferagic 315-223-3517
Venettozzi said the vehicle exited the parking lot headed north on Route 12.
Utica Police confirmed they are investigating the incident and said they are looking for a black SUV. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Utica Police Department.
We will bring you more information on this story as it becomes available.