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Police charge Watertown man in Wednesday’s stabbing

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A Watertown man was held on $10,000 bail after allegedly stabbing another man in the chest Wednesday afternoon near Franklin Street and Flower Avenue East.

Frank L. Cooley Jr., 25, of 373 Flower Ave. E., was charged by city police with second-degree assault in the stabbing of Michael J. Campaney, 45, of 819 Academy St.

Arraigned Thursday morning in Watertown City Court, Mr. Cooley said little as he pleaded not guilty to the charge, only requesting a public defender. He said nothing as he was led to a patrol car after his initial court appearance.

Minutes earlier in the courtroom, a person who came to support Mr. Cooley left in tears after she was informed of the amount of his bail. Several people declined to speak with the Times outside of the courthouse.

Mr. Campaney remains stable in a Syracuse hospital, police said. He was stabbed in the upper left torso in the incident, which took place shortly before 5 p.m.

Police are still investigating the incident, Detective Sgt. Joseph R. Donoghue said.

The two men were arguing when the dispute became physical, he said.

“The two men are acquaintances,” he said. “I would not say they’re friends. They know of each other.”

Mr. Cooley was charged in 2005, when he was 16, with threatening an 11-year-old boy with a knife.

The charge then was reckless endangerment.

Detective Donoghue said police have an idea what the two men were arguing about but declined to comment on what set off the stabbing.

Mr. Campaney was taken by ambulance to the town of Watertown highway building, then flown by LifeNet helicopter to Syracuse.

Tammy R. Clemons, who lives across the street from the residence where the incident was reported, said she heard hollering and came out of her Flower Avenue East apartment to see what was happening.

“I can’t believe this happened in broad daylight,” she said Wednesday.

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