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Man Charged with Attempted Murder in Stabbing of Philadelphia Councilman

PHILADELPHIA — A man has been charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a Philadelphia city councilman during an attempted robbery last week.

Twenty-four-year-old Shawn Yarbray was arraigned Sunday on the charge as well as aggravated assault, robbery, reckless endangering and a weapons count in the stabbing of Republican Councilman David Oh. His bail was set at $750,000.

Image:
In an Oct. 17, 2011 photo, Republican David Oh is at the WHYY studios, in Philadelphia. Police say Councilman Oh was stabbed once in the left side late Wednesday night, May 31, 2017, by a would-be robber as he was getting out of his car. Steven M. Falk / AP

The councilman said he was approached Wednesday night near his home by a man who demanded his car keys and then stabbed him. Officials said he was hospitalized overnight and returned to work Friday. Yarbray turned himself in to police Saturday.

Defense attorney Joseph Capone said his client denies the allegations "and we'll see what the evidence shows."

Oh, elected in 2011, is the first Asian-American elected to office in Philadelphia and the only U.S. military veteran on the council.

The councilman underwent surgery, said Matt Pershe, a legislative aide, who added Oh remained in good spirits and had run his council office from his hospital bed.

Oh was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon. He told reporters at an impromptu news conference on his front porch that he feels "very good" and is in good spirits.

"I made a rather speedy recovery, and I'm motivated to get out, get to work and I think address the underlying issues about why people end up in unfortunate circumstances here in our city," Oh told NBC Philadelphia.

The attack occurred on the block where Oh, who is married and has four children, has lived since the 1960s.

"He doesn't have any ill will toward the person who attacked him," Pershe said. "That's just the way he is."

RELATED: ‘A Very Healing Story’: David Oh Believes a 1958 Killing Can Help Bridge Communities

Oh's late father founded Philadelphia's first Korean-American church in 1953.

According to Oh's council website , one of his cousins was murdered in 1958 by a group of teenagers while a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Oh's parents requested leniency for the boys and started a fund to help them upon their release.

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