Guilty verdict in stabbing case at a Silver Spring restaurant

SILVER SPRING, Md. - A jury convicted a Silver Spring man in a stabbing case that took place at a Silver Spring restaurant last August.

Robel Haileselassie, 22, was found guilty of first-degree assault.

Charging documents stated that on August 7, 2015, Haileselassie and another man got into an argument at the Odalis Restaurant & Bar and stole two cell phones, one from the other man and the other belonging to someone else. The man was able to get back one of the phones from Haileselassie, but a struggle ensued when he tried to get back the other phone.

Police said during that struggle, Haileselassie stabbed and slashed the man several times, including once in the kidney. Haileselassie then fled the scene.

However, Montgomery County State’s Attorney spokesman Ramon Korionoff said one woman called 911 as the fight was taking place and was able to give police a good description of Haileselassie and the direction in which he ran.

"Thank goodness for that. Not only for the arrest that came from that call but also for first responders coming to the scene very quickly because she called it in just as it was happening. If not for that, this victim may have died on the scene,” added Korionoff.

Police eventually caught Haileselassie when a canine officer found a t-shirt covered in sweat a few blocks away from the restaurant. The officer's dog picked up the scent from the t-shirt and tracked Haileselassie to a location about half a block away from the shirt.

Haileselassie faces a maximum of 25-years in prison and will be sentenced on September 21, 2016.