Ferrisburgh man pleads in knife incident

MIDDLEBURY — A Ferrisburgh man on June 14 agreed to plead guilty in Addison County District Court to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, relating to a stabbing incident at the Basin Harbor Club on Sept. 20, 2010.
Joseph Forziati, 49, accepted a plea deal that calls for a jail term of two-and-a-half to five years, minus time served. The case had been headed for a jury trial. A jury draw had been scheduled for June 15.
“We are pleased with the sentence,” Addison County State’s Attorney David Fenster said on Thursday. “It’s a fair outcome for the charge.”
Prosecutors alleged that Forziati and his now-40-year-old male victim were both line cooks at the Basin Harbor Club’s Red Mill restaurant.
Court records indicate that the victim was off-duty and drinking at the restaurant bar during the evening of Sept. 20 when Forziati asked him to come into the kitchen.
The victim told Vermont State Police that Forziati — with whom he had had a history of disagreements — rushed at him holding a knife in each hand. The victim alleged that Forziati jumped at him and started to swing the knives at his face, cutting him. The victim also sustained wounds to his right hand during the melee, according to court records.
Forziati told police he had asked the victim to come into the kitchen to answer allegations that he had been spreading rumors about him (Forziati) using drugs. Forziati claimed that he had been “gesturing with his hands while holding the knives” and that the victim had misconstrued those movements as being threatening and had grabbed him, according to court records.
Addison County District Court Judge Nancy S. Corsones accepted the plea deal.
Fenster said the victim has almost completely recovered from his wounds and is now living and working in New Jersey.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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