BURLINGTON, NC - Terrance Daniels and another deaf friend communicated via sign language as they walked down the street.
When Robert Neal saw the men, he used a kitchen knife to stab Daniels.
“He mistook the sign language for gang signs," Sgt. Mark Yancey told ABCNews.com. "An altercation ensued, and the victim was stabbed several times."
Making the story even more bizarre, cops don’t believe Neal is a member of a gang. A helicopter rushed Daniels to a hospital where he remains in stable condition.
Neal ran from the scene but was arrested a short time later in a nearby city. Neal faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Bond is set at $500,000.
Investigators have not confirmed or denied alcohol or drugs played a role in the attack.