How to help

Anyone with information about the identity of a suspect in the stabbing Wednesday at 3312 Rivers Ave. can submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 554-1111 and possibly be eligible for a reward.

A North Charleston police officer chased but did not catch a suspect in the stabbing of a 76-year-old man Wednesday morning, according to an incident report.

The next day, detectives asked for the public's help in identifying the assailant seen on surveillance footage outside the Jo Jo Quick Stop at 3312 Rivers Ave.

North Charleston police on Thursday released a still image of the footage showing Charles Rutledge of Kraft Avenue being confronted behind the convenience store. Investigators said they think the attacker was waiting for him there.

Rutledge, who lives nearby, was stabbed in the abdomen during the encounter before 11 a.m.

The video captured him standing near a pickup truck and facing another man. The other man was seen extending his right arm toward Rutledge's stomach.

Wounded but able to communicate with authorities, Rutledge told officers that his knife-wielding assailant was a black man in a gray button-up shirt and gray pants, the report stated. His hair was worn in dreadlocks or braids, he also told the police.

Later, the man was further described as between 35 and 40 years old, about 6 feet tall and 210 pounds.

While responding to the scene, a police sergeant spotted a man who fit the description, but the suspect ran away, the report stated. Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a tracking dog, but they couldn't find the man.

Police had said Wednesday that Rutledge is 75 years old. The report said he is 76. He was treated at Medical University Hospital, but the extent of his injury wasn't listed in the police report.

A hospital spokesman on Thursday said he could provide no information about Rutledge's condition.

Some members of a crew working atop the store's roof watched part of the incident unfold. Two of them called 911 after Rutledge was stabbed.

In the first call, which was obtained Thursday through a Freedom of Information Act request, a man said he thought he saw someone taking an item from Rutledge.

The caller said he saw the assailant run away with what looked like a pink hairbrush or a comb in his hand.

But then the witness said he noticed that Rutledge was bleeding.

"I was working on the roof, and I saw a man get stabbed," the caller said. "Now, he's dying. He's an older fellow."

The caller described the attacker as muscular and physically fit. His button-up shirt was not buttoned, exposing his chest, the caller said.

"He looked like a boxer," the 911 caller said.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.