Police sort out bloody teen conflict
By CHRIS TISCH
LARGO -- Timothy Bare said his curiosity put him in the wrong place at the worst possible time on Monday afternoon.
Bare, a 16-year-old Largo High junior, said a classmate told him he was going to fight another student after school. Bare and his friends drove to the area where the fight was supposed to occur so they could watch.
Bare said they didn't see any fight going on. Then they saw the other student who was supposed to be in the fight, 17-year-old Yanel Sarti. He was walking with his 15-year-old cousin, Kane Sveda.
Bare said he and his friends pulled alongside the pair to ask what was happening. And that's where accounts of what happened diverge.
Bare said Sveda swore at him. They exchanged words, then Bare got out to talk to them. But Sveda, unprovoked, went to pull something from his pocket, Bare said.
Bare said he hit Sveda in the head, but by this time, Sveda pulled a knife and stabbed Bare in the arm. Bare said Sarti then pulled a sword on him and stabbed him three times in the back.
Sarti, however, says Bare was the aggressor and that his cousin pulled the knife in self-defense. He said he pulled his 12-inch sword, which he carries for protection, to scare the other kids, but did not use it.
Sorting out what really happened has been the job of Largo police and school officials.
Officer Thomas Carvella on Wednesday said a clearer picture had emerged based on interviews with witnesses. But he wanted to keep those details, including who was the aggressor, under wraps because he's still investigating.
He did say: "There are possible charges pending on all the parties involved."
Sarti and Sveda already have been arrested. Sveda was charged with aggravated battery, Sarti with aggravated assault. The difference in the charges is that Sarti did not stab Bare, Carvella said. All the stab wounds were from Sveda, he said.
"There's no question that Timothy Bare was not stabbed with the sword," the officer said.
Sarti was released from the Juvenile Assessment Center Monday, but Sveda remained there Wednesday. Sveda's mother declined to comment.
Sarti said classmates had been picking on and threatening him this school year. He carries a sword in a cane, which once belonged to his grandfather, to protect himself, he said.
Bare said he was simply going to watch a fight and had no intention of getting involved.
"I just showed up at the wrong time," he said from his bed at Bayfront Medical Center Wednesday. "I wouldn't just go up and start something."
He suffered injuries to his arm and lung that he worries could keep him out of sports. He is on football, wrestling and weightlifting teams and hopes to play football in college.
"I can't even eat solid food," he sobbed. "If these kids get away with it, it's not right."
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