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Marine at 'Toys for Tots' drive stabbed by theft suspect

By the CNN Wire Staff
The suspect attempted to conceal property and was confronted by Best Buy employees, authorities said.
The suspect attempted to conceal property and was confronted by Best Buy employees, authorities said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Marine reservist stabbed while trying to stop suspect, authorities say
  • Cpl. Phillip Duggan released from hospital
  • Marines were conducting "Toys for Tots" drive
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(CNN) -- A Marine Corps reservist helping in a "Toys for Tots" drive was stabbed Friday when he grappled with a fleeing shoplifting suspect, authorities in Augusta, Georgia, said.

Cpl. Phillip Duggan, 24, suffered a single stab wound. He was treated and released from the hospital later Friday, Sgt. Dan Carrier of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said. "He's doing fine."

The suspect attempted to conceal property and was confronted by Best Buy employees, authorities said. An employee struggled with the suspect, who brandished a knife. The employees backed away from the armed man to prevent any injury to themselves or customers, Carrier told CNN.

Duggan and several other Marines wearing their dress blues were conducting the annual toy drive in the breezeway of the Best Buy when they heard the commotion and saw the suspect flee through the store entrance, Carrier said.

Duggan tackled the suspect and other Marines also moved to stop the suspect, who stabbed Duggan once in the middle of his back, close to his spine, Carrier said.

"They jumped on top of him, and they pulled him down," said "Toys for Tots" volunteer Larry Frelin.

"It took about five different people on top of him, but unfortunately he had a knife. He brought the knife around and managed to get it in the back of the Marine," Frelin told CNN affiliate WRDW.

Tracey Attaway, 39, was in custody Friday night and was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, authorities said.

CNN was unable to reach Duggan or the Attaway residence late Friday.

"Most people who shoplift don't take it to this extreme," Carrier said.

CNN's Phil Gast contributed to this report.

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