Police: Foiled Birthday Drug Wish Leads To Stabbing

Police: Foiled Birthday Drug Wish Leads To Stabbing
(By JOSH POLTILOVE, The Tampa Tribune)

November 29, 2007

TAMPA – Phil Edward Johnson wanted to celebrate his birthday with $20 worth of cocaine, police say. But when his brother didn’t come up with the drugs, a report says, Johnson stabbed him twice in the stomach.

Police arrested Johnson, 54, Tuesday afternoon. He faces one count of attempted first-degree murder.

His brother, John Butler Tyler, told police it was Johnson’s birthday and that Johnson gave him $20 to buy cocaine for them, a police report states.

Tyler, 37, told police he gave the money to someone who was supposed to buy the cocaine. When Johnson learned his brother didn’t buy the drugs but handed the $20 to someone else, he got angry and pulled a knife from his pocket, according to the report.

Johnson stabbed his brother twice in the stomach and caused defensive wounds on his brother’s wrist, police say.

The stabbing occurred near Robles Park. Tyler went to a friend’s apartment nearby and banged on the door for help. The friend called 911.

Officers found Tyler barely conscious at that apartment, 311 E. Ohio Ave.

Tyler was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. He was listed in stable condition Wednesday.

Tyler couldn’t provide an exact location of the stabbing at the park, the police report states.

Johnson, of 2402 E. Fourth Ave., Apt. B, was held Wednesday in Orient Road Jail without bail.

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