Everett man charged with stabbing boy, 11, in Mill Creek store

Joshua Pence, 29, allegedly chased two boys with a kitchen knife after they called him a common insult among gamers.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.

MILL CREEK — An Everett man accused of stabbing an 11-year-old boy in a Dollar Tree in Mill Creek over a gaming insult last month has been charged with first-degree assault of a child.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anna Alexander set bail Monday at $500,000 for Joshua Pence, at the prosecution’s request.

Pence, 29, had no criminal history, but deputy prosecutor Sarah Johnson requested the unusually high bail amount, arguing “the allegations in this case are extreme.”

Around 5 p.m. March 22, two boys ages 11 and 13 looked across the street and saw the younger boy’s neighbor, Pence. They called him an “NPC,” a video game term for “non-playable character,” according to the charges. An internet meme uses the term as an insult, representing someone who does not think for themselves and has no personality.

Witnesses reported seeing Pence chasing the two boys, into the Dollar Tree at 3414 132nd St. SE holding a roughly 5-inch kitchen knife, according to the charges. One of the boys reportedly yelled, “It’s not that serious!” before Pence allegedly grabbed one of them.

Surveillance footage showed Pence pinning the 11-year-old against a shelf, according to the charges. The Everett man stabbed the child once in his side, prosecutors alleged. The suspect reportedly tried to stab the other boy, too, but the 13-year-old was able to move out of the way.

Witnesses in the store told police the attacker then dropped the knife and walked outside. Pence reportedly sat outside of the store and cooperated with police as he was detained, according to court documents.

Police found the 11-year-old boy in the back of the store. The 13-year-old was covered in his friend’s blood, charges say. The injured child was taken to Providence Regional Medical Everett before being transferred to the trauma unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a partially collapsed lung, the charges say.

In the hospital, the injured boy told investigators Pence lives in an apartment near him. He and his friend had called Pence an “NPC” in past interactions.

At his arraignment Monday, the defendant pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault of a child and attempted first-degree assault of the other boy.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Miners Complex tops 500 acres in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Nine lightning-caused fires force trail closures and warnings 21 miles east of Darrington. No homes are threatened.

FILE — President Joe Biden arrives for a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 3, 2024. Biden abandoned his campaign for a second term under intense pressure from fellow Democrats on Sunday, July 21, upending the race for the White House in a dramatic last-minute bid to find a new candidate who can stop former President Donald Trump from returning to the White House. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Biden drops out of race, endorses vice president Kamala Harris

The president announced the decision on social media Sunday.

Granite Falls ‘10-foot alligator’ is actually a tegu named ‘Tazz’

Anybody who spots the docile lizard, last seen near Granite Falls, is asked to notify 911, so Tazz can be reunited with owner.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.