EVERETT — When a Mill Creek gas station attendant called 911 last month, a woman could be heard crying in the background of the call, saying her ex tried to kill her, according to charging papers.
She reportedly said she “pulled a knife at him because he tried to kill me … he wouldn’t let me go.”
The caller told dispatch the woman needed aid, “like, now.”
“She’s getting into shock mode … she’s pretty much like passed out at the moment … she’s barely got any energy,” the caller reported.
William Arnold Pool III, 39, who is homeless, was charged Wednesday in Snohomish County Superior Court with attempted second-degree murder.
In the morning of June 13, Mill Creek officers arrived at the gas station to find the woman soaking wet with grass and debris on her clothes, face and hair, according to charging papers. She was bleeding from cuts on her fingers, and she had a swollen cheek, black eye and a scratch on her cheek. She had red marks around her neck. She reported that her ex-boyfriend, Pool, tried to kill her about three blocks away, in the 13500 block of 35th Avenue SE, so she stabbed him to get away.
Officers found Pool nearby, crawling on the ground, moaning. He struggled to breathe. “She stabbed me,” he reportedly said. Officers noted a single stab wound on his left side under his armpit. He was given aid and transported to a hospital.
According to the woman, Pool had invited her to his tent to talk. She didn’t think anything of it, she reported. They weren’t dating, but their relationship had been stable.
He reportedly became angry and began threatening her when they talked about their child. He allegedly refused to let the woman leave his tent.
She tried to get out, but Pool threw her back in the tent, she reported. When she attempted another escape, he allegedly knocked her to the ground, punched her in the face and strangled her. The woman reportedly told Pool she couldn’t breathe. He told her to shut up and to “get back in the tent,” according to charging papers. At one point, Pool allegedly told the woman, “The only way you’re leaving here is in a body bag.”
While in the tent, the woman reported, she saw a knife and secretly slipped it into the right sleeve of her jacket. She told an officer that she believed Pool would keep attacking her, and that she may be forced to use the knife.
They were in the tent for four hours, according to charging papers. As Pool continued his tirade, the woman reportedly attempted to deescalate the situation by taking the blame for their problems and making self-deprecating statements. When Pool put his head into his hands, she tried to escape one last time.
Pool chased after, and caught up to the woman near a gravel roadway. He allegedly pulled her down into the water and mud and repeatedly punched her in the face, according to her account. He attempted to strangle her again, she reported. She said she tried fighting back, but she couldn’t breathe. She began to feel dizzy and like her “life was going,” she told the investigating officer.
Then, the woman reported, Pool allegedly flipped her onto her stomach and pushed her face into a puddle while strangling her from behind with both hands.
According to charging papers, the woman pushed herself onto her side so she could breathe, and opened the knife that was in her sleeve. She reported she stabbed Pool in the torso. He allegedly punched her, hard. They fought over the knife. She held onto it with both hands. Pool allegedly put his hand over her right hand, which was grasping the open blade, and squeezed so the knife would slice her fingers.
The woman told the officer that Pool was going to have to cut her fingers off before she let go.
Eventually, Pool became weak from the stab wound, the woman reported. She ran to the gas station, where the attendant called 911.
The officer noted that the woman didn’t deny stabbing Pool, but was adamant it was in self-defense.
Pool was arrested after he recovered from surgery on his stab wound. In a recorded statement made at the Snohomish County Jail, he reportedly said that the woman had given him money to buy methamphetamine. He also bought a scratch ticket with the money, he told police, that turned out to be a winner for $10. When the woman came to his tent, he noticed the ticket went missing, and accused her of taking it.
During their argument, he reported, she took out a knife and stabbed him. He told police he never punched, hit or strangled her, and had no idea how she became injured. She must have “done it to herself” after she ran away, he told police.
He didn’t change his story when confronted with the woman’s version of events.
Prosecutors wrote that they were awaiting medical records related to a surgery the woman had for a bone fracture on one of her fingers, as well as the submission and execution of search warrants on the defendant’s tent and cellphone.
Pool remained in the Snohomish County Jail Friday with bail set at $100,000.