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Former Marine stabbed in eye after confrontation with attacker in Worcester, police say

Tyler Ferrara had just returned from serving in the Marine Corps about a month ago.
Tyler Ferrara had just returned from serving in the Marine Corps about a month ago.Tammy Ferrara

A recently retired U.S. Marine is recovering after he was stabbed in the face multiple times for attempting to save a woman who was allegedly menaced by an attacker in a Worcester parking lot early Sunday morning, his family says.

The former Marine, 26-year-old Tyler Ferrara, was stabbed twice in the left eye, leaving his retina sliced in half. He has no vision out of that eye, according to his family.

“His spirits are pretty low,” Ferrara’s mother, Tammy, said. “For at least the next three months he can’t work, can’t pick up his son, can’t do his school work. You try to stay positive for him but inside I’m screaming bloody murder.”

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Police on patrol were flagged down by witnesses at around 2 a.m. and found Ferrara with “a serious eye injury” in the parking lot at 73 Winter St., according to a statement from Worcester police. He was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and has since been released, his family says.

The suspect, 33-year-old Jason Rennie, allegedly fled the scene after the alleged attack and was later spotted by police on Harding Street., police said. He led officers on a chase before he was eventually caught near the Kenmore Diner on Grafton Street, authorities said.

Rennie, of Worcester, is charged with armed assault to murder, mayhem, two counts of possession of a per se dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace, police said.

He was held without bail at his arraignment Monday and will face a judge at a dangerousness hearing on Thursday, according to Timothy J. Connolly, a spokesperson for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Ferrara, who has a two-year-old son, had been out for the night, his family says, when he saw Rennie punch a woman in the head at least once. A fight broke out when Ferrara intervened, and a crowd gathering to watch as he fought off Rennie and two other men.

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“My son is a big kid... and my son beat the crap out of all three of them,” Tammy said.

Sometime during the course of the fight, she said, Rennie slipped off to his car to retrieve a boxcutter, which he used to stab Ferrara before fleeing the scene.

“He was just a coward, stabbing him and running away,” Ferrara’s brother, Matt, said. “That guy in my eyes is the biggest coward.”

Ferrara and his two-year-old son.
Ferrara and his two-year-old son.Tammy Ferrara

Ferrara recently retired from the Marine Corps after five years and a number of deployments. He had just returned from service about a month ago and is pursuing a master’s degree, his family said.

His attempt to save the woman, his family says, is an example of the selflessness they have come to know him for. His brother said he stood up for kids who were bullied in school.

Now, his family says, he is anticipating at least two more surgeries and may not regain vision in his left eye.

“I want him to stay in jail and rot,” Ferrara’s mother said of Rennie. “He has maybe altered my son’s life for the rest of his life.”


Andrew Brinker can be reached at andrew.brinker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewnbrinker.