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Syracuse man arrested for attacking family

Police have arrested a Syracuse man who they say stabbed two of his sons and hit his wife with a hammer.
SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - Police have arrested a Syracuse man who they say stabbed two of his sons and hit his wife with a hammer.

46-year old Lawrence Stokes Sr. was arrested for assault, grand larceny, criminal contempt for violating a court order of protection and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police were called to 134 Belle Avenue at 5:45 a.m. Sunday. When they arrived, they found 17-year old Shaquill Stokes with a stab wound to his right eye and his chest. Police say 23-year old Lawrence Stokes Jr. was stabbed in the face and hit in the head with a hammer. They say Stokes Sr. also hit his wife, Carolyn Smith in the head with a hammer.

All of the victims were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators tell NewsChannel 9 that Shaquill Stokes will require emergency surgery on his eye and he may lose his vision because of the severity of the injury.

During the incident, police said Stokes Sr. also stole a wallet from a fourth, unidentified person.

Investigators are still trying to figure out the motive behind the attack.

According to Syracuse Police, Stokes Sr. has a criminal record dating back to 1983 that includes charges of assault, robbery, larceny and more. His wife has a non-harassment order of protection against him. Family members told police that he has long been addicted to crack cocaine.

Investigators believe Stokes Sr. stole a TV from his family Saturday night to sell for drug money. When the teenage son got into an early-morning argument with his father, likely confronting him about the TV, police said he attacked his son and attacked his wife and older son with a claw hammer and knife when they tried to stop him.

“Really, it's a very sad story. We have people that are pretty severely injured as a result of this and it's an example, it shows people what drugs will do to have someone turn on their wife and children like this,” said Sgt. Tom Connellan with Syracuse Police.

Stokes Sr. is being held at the Justice Center, pending his arraignment Monday morning.

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