Thomas Thorpe, 51, who witnesses say stabbed a 64-year-old man getting off a public bus in Orange County, Florida, Wednesday, appeared in court the next day and went on a racist tirade against his court-appointed public defender.
On Wednesday, Thorpe and another man, Donald Sacco, were getting off a public Lynx Bus at South Orange Avenue and Sixth Street in South Orange County when Thorpe suddenly attacked Sacco, according to witnesses at the scene. Other passengers on the bus said that two had no previous altercation on board. They said that Thorpe may have been trying to rob Sacco, and several of the other disembarking passengers tried to intervene.
Sacco, who attempted to fight Thorpe away with a cane, screamed at Thorpe, “I don’t have any money! Leave me alone!”
Sacco was stabbed four times and also suffered defensive cuts on his hands.
“I (saw) two men get off the bus. One got off faster than the other one,” one witness Si Macon, said. “I looked out the window, and I (saw) one started to stab up the other dude.”
As Thorpe attempted to flee, a passing driver, Jeffrey Hopkins, stopped his car and leaped out brandishing a handgun. He aimed the gun at Thorpe and ordered him to get on the ground until deputies could arrive.
“As I was getting out, I noticed the guy had a knife in his hand so I went for my gun and took him down,” said the armed Good Samaritan, who told local TV station WFTV that he has a concealed carry permit for the weapon. “He looked at me very scared. Then he realized I was serious and dropped the knife and laid down immediately.”
Meanwhile, Sacco seated himself on a bus stop bench, bleeding from his abdomen.
“He wasn’t in that much pain, but he kept holding his stomach because he was bleeding pretty good, like at least four holes in him,” said witness Macon. Sacco was listed in stable condition at a nearby hospital.
Appearing in court Thursday, Thorpe told a judge he did not want a lawyer because “they screwed us.”
He entered a not guilty plea, then made racial remarks about his public defender.
“I pleaded not guilty and I don’t want this negro standing next to me,” Thorpe said in court. “I don’t want a negro standing next to me.”
The judge ordered Thorpe held without bond on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, and placed the man under a mental health watch.