Man gets prison for threatening group with steak knife

Officials: He charged at group on Officers Row

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A transient man who chased a group of people with a steak knife while reportedly shouting, “Have you ever been stabbed?” was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison.

Peter Hanna, 40, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to one count of second-degree assault in connection with the Aug. 4 incident along Officers Row. As part of a plea deal, two other counts of second-degree assault were dismissed.

According to the investigation, a group of people were standing near the Grant House at about 4 p.m. when Hanna began shouting and charging at them while holding a steak knife. He got within about 10 feet of the group, making repeated stabbing motions with the knife, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The group moved away and began shouting at Hanna, until he backed away. When officers arrived, they saw a commotion, and Hanna throwing things at the group, the affidavit stated.

On Wednesday, his defense attorney, Chris Dumm, said that Hanna suffers from mental health and substance abuse issues. At the time of the incident, Hanna believed he was inside a Pokemon game, in which you capture magical creatures, and that the group was trying to capture him. He became frightened and went after them, Dumm said.

Hanna acknowledged his drug use and apologized for his actions.

Judge John Fairgrieve followed the attorneys’ agreed-upon sentencing recommendation of 366 days in prison and 18 months of community custody. Hanna will have to undergo a mental health and substance abuse evaluation and treatment. He was given credit for 56 days in custody.