COLLEGE PARK — Police arrested a Kensington man early Wednesday in the stabbing of four men near the Thirsty Turtle bar, in what police are describing as a worsening trend of alcohol-fueled incidents in College Park.
Prince George's County police charged Leonardo Alonso Ramos, 21, with three counts of attempted second-degree murder and four counts each of first-degree assault and intent to injure with a dangerous weapon.
One of the stabbing victims is Leonardo Ramos' older brother, Jose Ramos, 23, police said Wednesday. The other three victims — Eric Gaul, Amir Itani and Matthew Stevens — are all University of Maryland students.
University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said this week's violence is part of a worsening trend of incidents involving underage bar patrons, especially at the Thirsty Turtle.
"It gets back to a bar that caters to underage drinkers that is not a good neighbor to our university," Mitchell said.
Police said the Ramos brothers and the three students got into an argument over a bar stool at the Thirsty Turtle and were all ejected by bouncers. The incident escalated into a physical confrontation across the street near the Cornerstone Grill and Loft, when police said Leonardo Ramos "was being assaulted by multiple individuals" and pulled out a folding knife and began stabbing the victims.
The victims were found by police at Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.
Jose Ramos said in a written statement to police that he was cut by his brother while trying to help him. Gaul sustained stab wounds to his left side and back, Itani was cut on the cheek and Stevens was stabbed in the lower back and elbow, police said.
Police said Gaul, Itani and Stevens were all admitted to the Thirsty Turtle despite displaying Maryland identification showing that they were each under the legal drinking age.
For the second consecutive day, Mitchell railed against the Thirsty Turtle, which officials said has been cited and fined three times in the past two years for various violations of its liquor license, including previous incidents of serving alcohol to underage patrons.
Mitchell said Tuesday that he was ready to "padlock the doors" of the Thirsty Turtle, but that it wasn't his decision to make.
A manager at the Thirsty Turtle declined to comment Wednesday.
Mitchell said a letter was delivered to the Prince George's County Liquor Control Board requesting that a hearing about the most recent incident be expedited.