$500,000 bond for man accused of slashing ex-girlfriend

A Key West man remained jailed on $500,000 bond Tuesday stemming from his early Sunday arrest for allegedly slashing his ex-girlfriend with a knife.

Harry Sterling, 50, is charged with attempted murder and is being held in the county jail on a $500,000 bond in what the victim called the culmination of months of arguing.

Key West police officer Deandre Morris was dispatched to Choice Storage on North Roosevelt Boulevard close to midnight Saturday to answer a call of a woman on the ground with a man standing over her. Witnesses told Morris the woman may have been stabbed and bleeding.

Morris found the woman, identified as 40-year-old Karen Cook, bleeding from her left side in front of Five Guys restaurant. The report says Cook and Sterling got into an argument and he attacked her when she tried to leave him.

Morris wrote Cook had two long wounds on her left rib cage that were deep and bleeding profusely. Morris noted there "appeared to be fat tissue protruding from the wound."

Officers Daniel Blanco and Thomas Stutz interviewed two witnesses who gave sworn statements. One, Wilson Sotelo, reportedly said, "I heard a woman asking for help, screaming help please," which prompted him to rush in to stop the fight. Sotelo told officers Sterling threw the knife to the ground shortly before police arrived.

The second witness, Evarito Rosa, told officers, "I heard a woman screaming help. A man ran after her and she screamed again for help."

Cook was taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center by the Key West Fire Department, then flown to Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami by LifeNet. Sterling was booked into jail at 1:45 a.m. Sunday.