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Stabbing victim targeted for allegedly destroying suspects' girlfriend and sister's tent
Two to four times a week, Eva Moon walks along the Sammamish River Trail in Redmond.
Sometimes the Redmond resident will walk by herself, but most of the time, she's with a friend.
"The visibility is good and there are usually other people in view," she said.
Because of this, she said she feels safe doing so. But recent events along the river — on the trail on the west side of the river — have her rethinking walking on her own.
On June 13, three 20-year-old men allegedly assaulted and stabbed a 28-year-old man while walking along the trail. The man was stabbed and/or slashed in the neck, face and torso four to six times and had walked to an office building adjacent to the trail, located in the 8400 block of 154th Avenue Northeast.
The victim arrived at the office building at 3:07 p.m. Several employees found him, administered first aid and called 911. The victim was then treated by Redmond Fire Department (RFD) personnel and immediately transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was released from the hospital on June 14.
Redmond police responded to the scene within minutes and located and detained three suspects — Ronald Fox, Edwin Foster and Trevor Utley. The three men were charged with second-degree assault on June 18.
According to King County charging documents, "Foster lured (the victim) to an outside location where the other two defendants were lying in wait, ready to attack (the victim). After first tasing (the victim) with a stun gun, all three men attacked him." Documents state that one stab "barely missed his spinal cord."
Foster, who has a prior conviction for second-degree burglary, admitted to planning the attack and to luring the victim to the outside location, documents state, while Utley admitted to stabbing the victim. Charging papers further state that Fox admitted to be the one lying in wait to ambush the victim, providing the knife to Utley and tasing the victim. Fox was convicted for second-degree assault in 2012, according to court documents.
Bail for all three suspects has been set at $250,000 each "to ensure the safety of the victim, the safety of the community and the (defendants') appearance in court," documents state.
Documents also state that Fox, Foster and Utley are homeless and Julie Beard, spokesperson for the Redmond Police Department (RPD), added that they are known to be staying around the Eastside.
TARGETED FOR A REASON
Although Fox, Foster and Utley were the only ones who have been charged in this incident, a police report included in the charging documents indicates that others were involved.
The report states that the three suspects targeted the victim because they believed he had destroyed a tent that belonged to Utley's girlfriend, who is also Fox's sister.
The victim "had been approached by three people he only knew as Eddie (Foster), JoJo, and Megan," who invited him to drink with them down by the slough. As the group of four walked down the trail, at one point, the victim felt a "'painful electric jolt' on the back of his neck, which he stated he knew to be 'tased or hit by a stun gun.'"
When the victim turned around, he saw Utley and Fox, who told him "that's what you get for trashing our tent" before assaulting him, the report states. The fight lasted three or four minutes and the victim stated he was kicked in the head at least 20 times and did not realize he had been stabbed until he had received medical attention, according to the report.
While this was an isolated incident, Beard does have some advice on how people can stay safe while on the local trails.
As reported earlier, she said people should know their access points along the trail and know their locations at all times, meaning the nearest block numbers or streets. She said people should also report any suspicious activity they witness.
Beard also advised that people should let others know where they are going and when they are planning to return — especially if they are planning on going somewhere new.
And although the incident has raised concerns within the community, Moon said she will not be deterred from walking along the trail.
"I might be more reluctant to walk alone or at times when the trail is deserted. But overall, I see the stabbing as a random event," she said. "Redmond is a safe community with low crime."
She said if people avoiding living their lives out of fear of some random act, they would never get out of bed.
"Life is full of chance happenings you can't predict. That's what they mean by 'chance,'" she said. "The odds of something bad happening to someone, somewhere are certain. The odds of something bad happening to one particular person are very, very low. So yes, I'll keep walking."