Skaltsis faces decades in jail for knifing, tasing man

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Paul Skaltsis (Rochester Police photo)

DOVER, N.H. - The man who tased and knifed another man in an alleyway outside a Rochester convenience store almost a year ago was found guilty today.

The jury deliberated less than two days before finding Paul Skaltsis, 26, of 135 North Main St., guilty on three of four felony counts: first-degree assault, second-degree assault and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.

The incident took place in broad daylight a little after 4 p.m. on May 6, 2015, in an alleyway near George and Ed's store on North Main Street.

In the assault Skaltsis knifed and tased Chris Joaquin who according to testimony during the trial had earlier harassed and assaulted Skaltsis' little sister.

Several bystanders witnessed the attack, including a jogger and a friend of Joaquin's who applied a makeshift tourniquet after blood began spurting from his arm.

Prosecutor Tim Sullivan said in closing arguments on Thursday that Joaquin "was a jerk" that day, but that didn't give Skaltsis the right to inflict the knife and taser wounds. He said Joaquin could have died if treatment hadn't been immediately given, including a transfusion of 500 cc of blood at Frisbie Memorial Hospital.

The trial ended Thursday afternoon with Skaltsis, himself, testifying, that he was worried about his family's safety when he went outside and confronted Joaquin. He tased him after Joaquin threw a punch, defense attorney Carl Swenson said in closing arguments. Joaquin then threatened to go get his posse and return, so when he and his friends came back and banged on the door of Skaltsis' apartment, he had every right to go out with a large kitchen knife and defend his home and hearth, Swenson said.

But Assistant County Attorney Tim Sullivan on Thursday painted a far different picture of the day's events, saying it wasn't defense of home and hearth, but "retaliation" and "vigilante justice" that provoked Skaltsis to go looking for Joaquin even after he'd retreated after being tased twice.

To prove his point he showed surveillance video of Skaltsis pacing back and forth in front of George and Ed's convenience store on North Main Street with a knife tucked in his pants.

Sullivan also questioned why no one in the Skaltsis household called 911 and summoned police if they were scared.

"No one called cause the 'man of the house,' Paul, was 'handling it,'" Sullivan argued.

Sullivan further told jurors that Joaquin said he never came back and banged on the door.

Skaltsis faces three and a half to seven years in state prison on each of the three felonies he was found guilty of.

The felon in possession charge stems from his conviction of second degree assault in July 2009.

Sentencing is expected next month.

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