Friends say North Carolina man’s right hand severed in machete attack

Traditional machete blade isolated on white

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — Friends say a man’s right hand was severed in a machete attack Sunday in Transylvania County.

Casey Coan’s best friend said Coan was in surgery all night as surgeons at Mission Hospital worked to re-attach his right hand.

The friend said Coan remains under heavy sedation, and is in critical condition because of blood loss.

Transylvania County investigators have charged Dakota Griffith with attacking Coan with a machete Sunday night.

“Casey isn’t in good shape,” said friend Julian Chavez, who’s been in constant contact with Coan’s best friend, staying with him at the hospital. “He got a pretty bad one in the head and one on the shoulder by the machete.”

Chavez said his understanding is that Coan’s hand was severed.

“(Witnesses) say it was completely amputated,” he said. “(Doctors) had to put it back on.”

Chavez said he and all of Coan’s friends are concerned if he will survive the extensive injuries. He said he understood Coan had inadvertently found himself facing Griffith, who left his family’s house on Asheville Highway after getting into an argument with his aunt.

“She and he had gotten into a discussion about his living there,” said Chavez. “There was some type of disagreement. She said to him, ‘Well, you can just leave then.’”

Chavez said Coan supported Griffith’s aunt when she made the statement. Chavez said he understands that Griffith then left the house and came back with the machete and started assaulting Coan after he had gotten involved in the discussion.

“Casey is a really nice guy,” said Chavez. “He is always friendly, with a smile on his face.”

Coan’s best friend said Coan is the most upstanding man he’s ever known and has always been there throughout their friendship of more than 20 years whenever he needed support.

It’s a big reason why he’s staying by his bedside in Mission.

Griffith is in the Transylvania County Jail charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury.

As in any case, charges could be upgraded, at the discretion of the district attorney, who will review the case and evidence.