‘There’s a man here with a knife trying to stab people.’ Video captures scary encounter outside local pharmacy
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IDAHO FALLS — An incident involving a man approaching another man with a box cutter outside an Idaho Falls pharmacy ended with the suspect being charged with felony aggravated assault.
Amber Archibald witnessed the ordeal in the Walgreens parking lot at 17th Street and Holmes Avenue Wednesday around 2:40 p.m. She shared cell phone video of the encounter with EastIdahoNews.com. It shows a bearded man in a blue shirt holding the box cutter as he walks toward another man who tries to keep his distance.
Archibald called 911 and can be heard in the video saying, “There’s a man here with a knife trying to stab people.”
Within minutes, Idaho Falls Police officers arrived and arrested 33-year-old Christopher Lee, who is homeless. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim was reportedly about to walk into the store when Lee, a stranger, walked toward him with the knife.
Lee got within about three feet of the victim when he allegedly lunged towards him with the yellow box cutter’s blade extended. The victim reported he was able to get away and also call 911, which prompted his alleged attacker to walk away.
“It was scary,” Archibald told EastIdahoNews.com. “We stayed because our car was (the victim’s) safety net. He was behind our car and playing cat and mouse with him.”
When officers arrived, Lee had already placed the box cutter back into his pants pocket. He was arrested and declined to tell police his side of the story, according to court documents.
Lee made his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon, where Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard set bail at $25,000.
Lee asked to plead guilty at the hearing but because he is charged with a felony, he can not until the case reaches the District Court.
Mallard was worried because of Lee’s disheveled appearance and said that after reading the police report, he may have mental health issues.
Although Lee is accused of a crime, it does not nearly mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A preliminary hearing for Lee is scheduled for Aug. 25.