Englewood Teen who attacked jogger appears in court - WNCN: News, Weather

Englewood attack victim speaks

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The corner of Lemon Avenue and 9th Street. The corner of Lemon Avenue and 9th Street.
Photo of Michael Baskind's injury Photo of Michael Baskind's injury
It's a story that will give you chills.

Sarasota County deputies say on Monday afternoon, a jogger went on a run through a neighborhood in Englewood. Then suddenly, a teenager randomly attacked him and sliced his neck.

Michael Baskind, 54, was very familiar with the path through his Englewood neighborhood. He ran it weekly for years.

Late Tuesday afternoon, he was in the area of 9th Street and Lemon Avenue when he passed 13-year-old Damien Reel. He recognized the teen, said hello, and kept running.

"Next thing I know I feel a hand on my left shoulder so I turn really quickly and as I did that, I feel something across my neck," Baskind said.

He says Reel used a large serrated knife to slash his neck.

Baskind chased after him briefly and Reel threw the knife at him and took off.

"My whole encounter with this boy was 20 seconds. That's how fast it was," he said.

Baskind is a nurse anesthetist, so he was able to stay calm. He applied pressure to the injury and went to a nearby house to call 911.

"What I experienced with this kid was pure evil. Pure evil," he said.

The next morning, Reel called his mother and officers traced his location to a Big Lots parking lot. After a short chase, officers arrested him and they discovered that he was covered in insect bites. Apparently, he had spent the night in the woods.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Reel and have charged him with attempted murder.

Thursday morning in court, a judge ordered Reel to spend 21 days in a juvenile detention facility. The state attorney's office has not decided whether it will try reel as an adult.

Baskind is thankful for his quick reaction. "Had I not turned to the left the second he touched my hand and my shoulder, he would've ran that knife across the front of my throat and then this whole story would've been very, very different," he said.

"This kid is going to be a menace to society for a very long time to come if we don't figure out what he was possibly thinking."

In the meantime, Baskind is not shaken and he plans to keep on running.

The state prosecutor says a trial date has been tentatively set for March 4th. If the office decides not to try him in court, Reel could be free to go after that date.

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