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FORMER SCHOOLMATES' CARD GAME ENDS IN VIOLENCE

A card game between former high school buddies that went sour early Tuesday climaxed in a stabbing, Amherst police said.

Justin Barden, 21, of Little Robin Road, Amherst, was listed in stable condition in Erie County Medical Center Tuesday. Police said he was stabbed in the lower back by Lino Sandoval, 24, of Hyattsville, Md., who was angered at losing several games.

Sandoval, formerly of Amherst, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a weapon. The attack occurred at 1:57 a.m., Amherst Assistant Chief Frank Olesko said.

Olesko said Barden and Sandoval, former Sweet Home High School friends, spent Monday night and early Tuesday morning drinking at a local bar and then went back to the home of Sandoval's mother at 4787 N. Bailey Ave. The mother was away at the time, he added.

But after Sandoval started losing, the scene got ugly, police said.

Sandoval got a knife from another room in the house and stabbed Barden in the lower back, Olesko said.

"He (Sandoval) lost his temper and stabbed Barden in the back because he was constantly losing," Olesko said. "Barden is apparently pretty good at cards, and this guy (Sandoval) always seems to lose. He just became upset at losing so much."

Police were summoned to the scene by neighbors after Barden ran from the house and called for help, Olesko said.

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