Victim speaks out in Gloversville stabbing

GLOVERSVILLE – City teen stabbing survivor Justin Persen said Thursday he doesn’t necessarily want his attacker to go to jail or prison.

City police early on in Tuesday’s public attack in front of the police station on Frontage identified the main suspect in the stabbing as Robert Pacheco Jr., 25, of Gloversville. But he has not been charged at this point.

The victim in the case is Justin Persen, 17, of 56 Sixth Ave., Gloversville, who was recovering at home Thursday morning from a pocketknife wound to his upper back. The attack left him bloodied during a fight on the City Hall lawn just after noon Tuesday.

Gloversville police said Thursday that an arrest of someone in the attack would probably take place Thursday, but police had issued no public statements yet as of this morning.

Capt. Mike Scott, the police department’s spokesman, said Thursday his department was interviewing and reviewing Capital District video coverage captured from the incident.

“I’m walking and it’s hard to breathe,” Persen said Thursday morning during a brief interview outside his home.

Original police reports at the scene were that he suffered a punctured lung.

Persen said he doesn’t necessarily wish to see Pacheco, his girlfriend’s older brother, charged, if that does happen. He said both families can work things out.

“Honestly, if I could get a chance to talk to him, I would,” Persen said.

The teen, who attends the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services program at Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown, was having a feud with Pacheco prior to the stabbing. Both were in cars that were headed from Johnstown to Gloversville with several family members and friends, with Pacheco claiming he was being pursued. The argument ended in front of the police station, with Persen being stabbed.

He was attended to by city police on the lawn of City Hall, eventually being airlifted to Albany Medical Center. He was released later Tuesday.

Persen said that he knows he and Robert can work things out. He said prison would be a tough thing for him to go through.

“I didn’t want no problems with Robert,” Persen said.

Persen explained that his 19-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie – Pacheco’s younger sister -have an eight-month old daughter together. She’s just starting a job and things are okay, he said.

He never exactly explained why the two argued Tuesday prior to him being knifed. But he stated that he “wanted to talk to him,” about past misunderstandings.

Family members of both sides said following the knife attack that trouble had been brewing between the two young men for a couple days prior to the City Hall incident.

“We got into an argument on Monday,” Persen said.

Persen said Pacheco doesn’t need to get involved in his relationship with his sister and although he is young, he can take care of his baby.

“It was none of his business,” Persen said. “I know how to treat my daughter.”

After the two cars stopped on Frontage Road, a fight broke out between both families. Persen alleges just prior to being stabbed, Pacheco pulled back like he was going to punch his father, 35-year-old Cecilio Persen, and then pulled his fist away.

Persen said he didn’t like that his father – later charged by city police with disorderly conduct – was being picked on by Pacheco. Seconds later, Persen was stabbed.

In spite of his tough times with Pacheco, Persen said he just wishes he could communicate better with him.

“You’re family, come to me,” was Persen’s advice to his attacker.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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