SYCAMORE – A Cortland man is charged with attempted murder after police say he tried to stab his boss, who he'd also been living with for the past decade.
Carlos Hernandez, 40, of the 100 block of North Dogwood Street, Cortland, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. If convicted of the most serious crime, attempted murder, Hernandez could face 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
During a bond hearing at the DeKalb County Courthouse Thursday, Hernandez, using a Spanish translator, told Circuit Court Judge Robbin Stuckert that his boss "was holding me here," mimicking a chokehold to his own neck.
"I've been working with my boss for the last 10 years," Hernandez said Thursday through his translator. "I have not been paid, I work there seven days a week, I don't get a day off."
Stuckert said she couldn't discuss facts of the case and didn't have answers for Hernandez. She set his bail at $50,000, though DeKalb County prosecutors asked for the bail to be set at $100,000. Hernandez would have to post $5,000 to get out of jail.
According to DeKalb County court records, shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday Hernandez and his boss got into a verbal argument over Hernandez being intoxicated at his workplace at Sam's Diner, 11 W. North Avenue in Cortland.
The owner of the diner told Hernandez he was "relieved of his duties," records show, at which point Hernandez went back into the kitchen of the restaurant, got a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade and lunged at his boss, attempting to stab him four to five times.
The owner grabbed a bus pan and plate to protect himself, according to Cortland Police Department records, and wrestled Hernandez to the ground where he took the knife out of the man's hand. Hernandez tried to pick the knife back up and was cut deeply on his left hand.
According to witnesses and the alleged victim in police reports, the owner placed Hernandez in a chokehold to drag him out of the building to wait until police arrived.
Stuckert asked whether the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement office had placed any holds on Hernandez, and DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies said no. Hernandez, who's lived in Cortland with his boss for 10 years, has family but they reside in Mexico, Stuckert said.
If he could post $5,000 bail, Stuckert said he'd need to find somewhere else to live while his court proceedings continue as a stipulation of his bond. He's set to appear for a status hearing Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.