WOONSOCKET — The alleged assailant in a stabbing that left a young woman in critical condition Tuesday night has been identified as Louis C. Callei, 23, of Woonsocket.
Callei was ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions following his arraignment yesterday morning on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon in a dwelling house, possession of oxycodone and resisting arrest.
Police say Callei stabbed a 23-year-old woman repeatedly in the upper torso inside 837 Social St. about 6:30 p.m. They plucked him from the icy waters of the nearby Peters River as he was attempting to flee.
The motive for the stabbing is still a mystery, Detective Lt. Eugene Jalette, the department spokesman, said Wednesday. The victim, who remains a patient at Rhode Island Hospital, has given police a brief statement, and they plan on re-interviewing her, but Jalette said they aren't sure whether that's going to shed any more light on the motive.
“With the drugs on his person, there's speculation it might have been a drug deal, but we'd just be guessing at this point,” said Jalette. “We just don't know.”
Jalette said police found some two dozen pharmaceutical tablets in Callei's pockets after he was pulled from the river. Most of them were oxycodone tablets, a synthetic, heroin-like painkiller sold under a variety of brand names, including Endocet, Percocet and others. Callei was also holding two different kinds of prescription tranquilizers, said Jalette.
Jalette said both Callei and the victim were Woonsocket residents, but they did not live together, and neither of them lived in the apartment where the stabbing took place.
He said Callei and the victim were acquainted with each other, but the police are unsure whether she recognized him until after Callei allegedly initiated the attack. “He wasn't wearing a disguise,” said Jalette, but he was bundled in some heavy winter clothing that may have served to conceal his identify from the victim, at least for a few moments, said Jalette.
Callei has no record of prior arrest in Rhode Island. According to the judiciary's Web site, his arrest by the Woonsocket police marks his first and only contact with law enforcement in the state as an adult.
Officers were responding to a report of the stabbing when they found the victim on a first-floor hallway of 837 Social St., a large brick tenement next door to Krakow Deli. Two people were tending the victim, who was bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds to the upper torso and chest area. Her condition has since been upgraded to fair, police said.
Police declined to say how many times the victim was stabbed or elaborate on the nature of the weapon, other than to say it was a knife. Jalette said police recovered the weapon.
Patrolmen Patrick McGourty, Kenneth Marcotte, Anthony Conetta and Gabriel Koneczny were singled out for their valiant efforts in apprehending Callei. The officers chased after the suspect and pulled him from the river moments after the crime was reported.
“It was a heck of a job on the part of those officers, that's what I see,” said Jalette.