Attorneys for two men accused in a 2017 attack in North Adams say the victim simply misidentified his assailants.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports opening statements were presented in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday in the case against Ryan Peterson, 29, and Keith Larrabee, 24.

First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Karen Bell said the men, both North Adams residents, approached the victim about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 24, 2017, on East Quincy Street, and a fight broke out after Larrabee punched the 42-year-old man in the head. Bell said the victim recognized Peterson, who lived nearby.

The victim reported seeing a knife in Peterson's hand and realized he was bleeding and yelled for people to call the police, Bell said.

His neck was slashed and he was stabbed in the torso and cut on the shoulder and hand. He also suffered a nearly severed ear that required medical treatment and plastic surgery.

Peterson's attorney, Ryan Smith, said the victim made an honest mistake when he identified his client as his assailant.


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