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North Tonawanda man arrested in stabbing following a search by police and helicopters

NORTH TONAWANDA – An Oliver Street man was caught following an air and ground search Tuesday afternoon after he allegedly stabbed a neighbor in the chest during a fight.

Bryan Cummings, 35, was charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly stabbing Norman Koepsell, 58, a neighbor in his apartment building, in the chest with a folding knife just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. Koepsell was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, where he was in stable condition. His wounds are not believed to be life-threatening, according to Capt. Thomas Krantz, chief of detectives.

Krantz said both men became aggressive during an argument in their apartment building at 864 Oliver St.

After the attack Cummings ran and hid in a wooded area behind the Roblin Steel plant until he was spotted by a Border Patrol pilot, authorities said. “Our guys were at the scene immediately, but our guys were unable to see him,” Krantz said. “Border Patrol was able to spot him laying in some bushes.”

Krantz said Cummings surrendered without a fight and was taken into custody without incident about 20 to 25 minutes after the stabbing occurred.