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For the week of April 18 through April 24, 2001

Woman on bike path threatened with knife

Express Staff Writer

A 47-year-old Ketchum woman was attacked by a man wielding a knife while riding her bike on the bike path about 6:10 p.m. Monday. The attack occurred in a wooded area just north of the intersection of Buttercup Road and Highway 75.

The alleged assailant, Eric Liebl, 18, was arraigned in magistrate court Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault and battery.

After advising Liebl of his rights, Judge Daniel Alban asked prosecuting attorney Marilyn Paul if her office had determined if there was a crime and if there was probable cause Liebl had committed it.

She described the charges against Liebl as "frightening acts" and asked the court to set bond at $80,000.

Alban set it at $100,000.

Paul also told the judge that Liebl was awaiting a hearing on charges of grand theft and malicious damage to property, and that Liebl was homeless and living in Lions Park.

The affidavit describing the events of the crime were still in magistrate court at press time, but some details were given by Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Gene Ramsey.

He said the woman was riding her bike when Liebl allegedly rode up alongside her on his bike, knocked her off, and threatened her with a knife.

The woman was able to get away, and ran to the highway where she flagged down a motorist. A 911 call on the assault was made about this time, but Ramsey said he didn’t know who made it.

By chance, a Blaine County Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area, so, in the words of Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, an officer was on the scene within 20 seconds of the call.

Ramsey said officers from the sheriff’s department, the Hailey Police Department and the Bellevue Marshal’s office searched the area.

About 40 minutes later, an off-duty Hailey police officer saw someone fitting the description of the assailant riding southbound on his bike about 1½ miles north of Hailey on Highway 75, and took Liebl into custody.

Ramsey said the woman was taken to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center for treatment of injuries and released. He said he thought her injuries were bruises and contusions.


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