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Man working at Cleveland tavern stabbed to death during fight, police say

Academy Tavern stabbing
Posted at 12:26 PM, Mar 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 10:26:17-04

CLEVELAND — A man working in the kitchen of a tavern on Cleveland’s East Side was stabbed to death during a fight Saturday night, Cleveland police confirmed. Two men who were also working in the kitchen were arrested.

Officers responded to Academy Tavern on Larchmere Boulevard at about 8:35 p.m. Saturday for a report of a man stabbed, police said. When they arrived, officers found the 23-year-old victim bleeding and administered first aid until EMS arrived and took the victim to University Hospitals, where he was pronounced dead.

On scene, officers learned the victim and the two men who were later arrested were working in the kitchen of the restaurant when a verbal argument turned physical and spilled outside of the restaurant.

During the altercation, the victim was stabbed, police said.

News 5 spoke to the family of Michael Reese, who said he was the victim of the fatal stabbing. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner confirmed Reese's death.

“He was so sick yesterday,” said Reese’s mother, Pam Woodall. “My son had the flu and I told him, ‘Mikey, stay home. Stay home. You don’t gotta go. We’re alright. Stay home.’ He said, ‘Mom, I gotta go and make sure my kitchen is okay.”

“This young man, I brought him to work every day,” said Reese’s sister Tashae Reese. “Took him home. He made me dinner. He didn’t bother nobody, do you hear me? This is real. If you look him up – he didn’t bother nobody.”

A 27-year-old man was taken into custody on scene; he had a laceration on his leg, according to police.

A 24-year-old man originally fled the scene, but returned and was arrested, police said. That man reported an injury to his shoulder.

Both man were treated and released from the hospital, according to police.

The matter remains under investigation.

A vigil was held for Reese outside Academy Tavern at 7 p.m. Sunday.