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Police are investigating a stabbing that took place Saturday evening at the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf.

At 6:30 p.m. March 30, two men approached a 21-year-old man and his friend on the upper level of the mall near an escalator.

According to information provided by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, one of the suspects took out a knife and stabbed the man multiple times in the upper body.

The victim ran to the parking lot.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene, and the victim was flown to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released several hours later.

Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said the man was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

She said police are uncertain what caused the incident and that officers are questioning witnesses, the victim and his friend.

St. Charles Towne Center mall management and security are working closely with the Charles County Police Department in the investigation of the incident, according to an email statement from mall officials.

“St. Charles Towne Center is committed to providing a safe, quality shopping environment for our shoppers and our employees,” the release states. “To do this, we take several proactive security measures, including maintaining a 24-hour security patrol of our mall and surrounding parking lots.”

Mall safety became a hot topic during the 2010 sheriff’s election.

Candidates were asked what role the sheriff’s office should play at the mall and how big a problem was safety at the mall.

In 2010, Sheriff Rex Coffey (D) said “Well, No. 1 is, I don’t think there’s a huge safety problem at the mall. We are up there constantly. … I make our commanders work the streets. And most of those commanders spend some time at the mall. … We have regular patrols at the mall. … We’re in a partnership with the mall. They pay police officers to work up there on the weekends. Most of the crime that we have up there is shoplifting. And you can put a policeman in every store … and you’re not going to stop shoplifting.”

Two days after the stabbing, Coffey said that while there are some incidents, overall he feels the mall is a safe place to be and that mall staff work to ensure that safety. As an added effort, he said he would like to see the mall install additional security cameras.

The sheriff’s office criminal investigation division is investigating.

gphillips@somdnews.com