Newport Man Arrested in Middletown Stabbing Investigation

The suspect was arrested Tuesday night in Bristol and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Police have arrested a 20-year-old Newport man in connection with the , which occurred outside an East Main Road convenience store on Monday.

Michael F. Daponte, 20, of 63A Malbone Road, Newport, was arrested around 5:47 p.m. Tuesday in Bristol on an outstanding warrant issued by the for one felony count of assault with a dangerous weapon, according to Middletown Police Detective Lt. John Dring. More details will be released later today, police said.

Daponte allegedly stabbed a 23-year-old Middletown man outside the on East Main Road around 3 p.m. Monday.

The incident escalated from a fistfight that began outside the store and left the victim with 13 stitches on his face and seven staples to close the wound to his stomach, according to a WPRI.com report Monday evening.

The Middletown man was stabbed once in the face and twice in the abdomen outside the store. He was bleeding when the first police officers arrived on scene, according to Lt. Dring.

rescue workers treated him at the scene and transported him to Newport Hospital, where he was later treated and released, according to Lt. Dring.

Middletown Police Department detectives were able to identify Daponte as the suspect and obtain a warrant for his arrest Monday evening, based on the victim’s account and interviews from witnesses near the scene of the incident, according to Lt. Dring.

Neither the victim nor the suspect are employed by the convenience store and it is believed the victim was there at the time as a customer, according to police.

Robbery was not determined to be a motive at this time.

“This was not a random occurrence," Lt. Dring said. "The suspect knew the victim, but that’s all we can say at this point."

Police so far have described the weapon as a sharp-edged object.


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