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Neighborhood Man Arrested in School Machete Attack

July 10, 1996

WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) _ A neighborhood man has been arrested for a machete attack at an elementary school that injured three toddlers and four adults.

Horrett Campbell, 32, was taken into custody after police found him hiding in a closet at his 10-story apartment building late Tuesday.

Police had identified Campbell as a suspect in Monday’s attack at the St. Luke’s Church of England school. A man armed with a machete jumped two fences at the school, and slashed adults and children at a tea outside for preschoolers.

The attack left four adults and three children, ages 3 and 4, with face, arm and head wounds.

Lisa Potts, a 21-year-old nurse at the school who was badly injured Monday, said the attacker laughed as he swung the machete.

``I saw a woman lying on the ground, and there was suddenly screaming and this man came rushing towards me,″ she said. ``He was laughing and I didn’t really know what was going on. But I snatched up a child under each arm and rushed them into the nursery.″

``But he pulled me back and hit me on the head,″ she said, in comments relayed by Jock Gallagher, spokesman at New Cross Hospital here.

Police took Campbell away from the apartment building under a blue blanket.

Residents said they were surprised that Campbell was a suspect.

``He’s a bit slow but he was quite popular because he always said hello,″ Marcia Ballantine said.

``He never had any trouble with anybody, but he seemed to be a loner,″ Sarah Ferguson said.

Doctors said it was too early to tell whether Ahmed Pervez, 3, whose skull was fractured in the knife attack, would suffer permanent brain damage.

Rhena Chopra, 4, who suffered deep cuts to her face, and Francesca Quintyne, 4, whose jaw was fractured and her face slashed, were both in stable condition.

The Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council said Tuesday that it would spend $15,000 to buy personal alarms for all school workers.

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