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Tamaqua man in prison in early Friday stabbing

A Tamaqua man who is accused of stabbing another man just after midnight Friday was captured in Berks County and committed to the Schuylkill County Prison.

Brandon Lee Espinal Jr., 21, was arraigned on aggravated assault and other charges before Port Carbon Magisterial District Judge David Platchko on Friday morning.

According to Tamaqua police, officers went to an apartment on the 100 block of Schuylkill Avenue at 12:01 a.m. for a stabbing report. Officers arrived and saw Emanuel Viera lying unresponsive on the floor as his girlfriend applied pressure to his right side. Police said Viera had a bleeding puncture wound.

The woman said that Espinal, who is her brother, stabbed Viera.

According to the woman, she and Viera had an argument and she left the apartment to speak with Espinal and another individual in Espinal’s vehicle. Espinal then returned to the apartment to care for the woman’s children, she told police.

The woman said Espinal called her at 11:52 p.m. Thursday to tell her that he stabbed Viera. The woman returned to the apartment to find Viera on the floor bleeding as Espinal fled in his car.

Police said the Schuylkill County Communications Center learned that Espinal was traveling toward the Reading area and issued an alert for law enforcement to be on the lookout for him.

Police said the Exeter Township Police Department spotted Espinal and took him into custody without incident. The Exeter officer searched the vehicle and found items belonging to Espinal’s sister and Viera.

Espinal was arraigned on a felony count of aggravated assault, along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Platchko set bail at $100,000 cash and Espinal was sent to prison.

A Tamaqua man is in Schuylkill County prison after he was charged in an early Friday morning stabbing at this apartment building on the 100 block of Schuylkill Avenue in the borough. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS