Ohio Haunted House Actor Charged After Boy, 11, Is Accidentally Stabbed

Christopher Pogozelski is charged with negligent assault after the Sept. 18 incident

Ohio Haunted House
Photo: WKYC Channel 3

An Ohio haunted house actor is facing charges after he stabbed a young boy in the foot with a knife.

Christopher Pogozelski, 22, was working at the 7 Floors of Hell haunted house at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds earlier this month when he tried to scare an 11-year-old who assumed his knife was a prop.

"He was scraping the knife on the ground and playing around with them," the boy's mother, Karen Bednarski, told The Washington Post. "And my son said to him, 'I'm not afraid, your knife is fake.' So the man was like, 'Oh, it's real. Trust me, it's real.' And that's when he started poking it at his feet multiple times until he stabbed him."

The boy suffered a cut on his left toe, according to a police report obtained by The Post and News 5 Cleveland.

Pogozelski is charged with negligent assault after the Sept. 18 incident, the news outlets report.

The police report states that Pogozelski told officers he'd brought the knife from home, instead of using the fake weapons provided by the haunted house. He admitted that "using the knife was not a good idea and that the injury was an accident," according to News 5.

The knife was confiscated and Pogozelski was fired, Rodney Geffert, president of Night Scream Entertainment, which owns the attraction, told The Post. Geffert said that Pogozelski "apologized nonstop" following the incident.

"It wasn't intentional," Geffert told the newspaper. "The actor stayed by the boy's side the whole time."

The 7 Floors of Hell haunted house has been rated by Forbes as one of the "wickedest" haunted houses in the United States. Geffert told The Post that the actors are instructed never to touch customers and to use rubber props.

Police told the newspaper that they aren't sure why Pogozelski decided to bring his real knife to the haunted house and they have not reported to any similar incidents there.

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The Berea Police Department and Night Scream Entertainment did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

It's unclear if Pogozelski has entered a plea at this time. An attorney could not be identified to comment on his behalf.

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