A University of Hartford drama student who allegedly stabbed two classmates in a campus apartment Sunday told police he was “curious what it would be like to stab someone.” He later changed his story, claiming his “emotions got the best of him” while acting out a scene in a movie, according to police.
Hartford Courant reports that 20-year-old Jake Wascher is behind bars facing attempted murder and assault charges after police accused him of stabbing two fellow University of Hartford students, ages 19 and 21.
The 19-year-old, identified as Thomas Nee, was listed in critical condition at the St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center after the suspect reportedly stabbed him in the chest and back. The 21-year-old, identified as Brandon Gasparino, had four puncture wounds in the back and one in the chest. He was discharged on Monday from St. Francis Hospital.
Police said that Wascher and classmates were acting out a scene from the 2004 film, “The Butterfly Effect,” in which Wascher was playing the main character, according to FOX 61. Witnesses said they heard screaming coming from the campus apartment where the students were filming.
Wascher first attacked Gasparino, student film director, with a long knife, measuring around six or seven inches. After stabbing the victim in the chest and arm, Nee screamed at the suspect to stop, but Wascher attacked the teen as well, stabbing in the back and neck before throwing the knife at him, according to witnesses.
Wascher fled by foot before authorities arrived, but was later found near the school’s main campus, “by a swampy wood-line.”
“He saw police and ran back into the woods,” Hartford Police Department spokesperson Lt. Paul C. Cicero said during a news conference. “Several more officers responded to the area, gave verbal commands and the suspect came out of the woods.”
Wascher is being held on a $1 million bond. He was initially scheduled for arraignment Monday morning at the Hartford Superior Court, but instead was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Jake Wascher/Police Handout]