LYNNWOOD — Prosecutors have filed an assault charge against a man who stabbed a bystander trying to break up a fistfight on Christmas Eve at the Alderwood mall.
The defendant, who turned 20 this month, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Elise Deschenes wrote in court papers. She has charged Jodie Trevon Taylor with first-degree assault with a deadly weapon.
Taylor recently pleaded not guilty. He remains jailed on $250,000 bail. His trial is scheduled for March.
A man told police that he’d gone to the mall to buy a present and was approached by Taylor. The defendant bumped the man’s shoulder and started demanding $50 that Taylor said he was owed, according to court papers. The man told police that the $50 was from an old drug debt.
Taylor patted the man’s pockets and then punched him in the face, Deschenes wrote.
A bystander, who witnessed the punch, stepped between the two men and urged them to stop. Taylor allegedly responded by punching that man in the face, court papers said. Witnesses told police Taylor retrieved a folding knife from his pocket, grabbed the stranger and plunged his knife into the man’s back.
Taylor sprinted away from the scene.
The stabbing victim yelled for help after he discovered that he was bleeding.
Several bystanders subdued Taylor and a mall security officer removed a folding knife from the defendant’s front pocket, court papers said.
The defendant’s mother allegedly told police that she thought Taylor was on Xanax, which was making him act erratically.
Taylor has prior convictions for unlawful gun possession and fourth-degree assault.
A second stabbing happened at the mall Jan. 15. A food court worker was stabbed after a confrontation with a 38-year-old Auburn man.
Police were told the suspect in that case made comments about a food court employee not wearing gloves as he prepared food. The stabbing victim told the man he was free to eat elsewhere. The suspect reportedly hurled insults at the man and knocked cups and other items off the counter before walking away.
The other man climbed over the counter, ran after the Auburn man and struck him on the back of the head. The suspect brought the food worker to the ground. The suspect reportedly grabbed a knife from his pocket and stabbed the other man repeatedly in the back.
A bystander attempted to intervene and was stabbed in the leg. The suspect told the bystander he’d been attacked first and handed the man his knife, according to the police report.
The suspect was arrested without incident. He reportedly told police he acted in self-defense. He said his response was appropriate because “for all he knew the guy could be a member of ISIS,” according to a police report.
The man was booked for investigation of first- and second-degree assault. He has since bailed out. The case is under review by the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley @heraldnet.com.