Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of April 25 through May 1, 2001

Victim fought off knife attack with her bare hands

Express Staff Writer

The victim of an assault last week on the bike trail told police she defended herself with her bare hands against her knife-wielding assailant.

According to court records, Toni A. Lemmon, 47, a resident of Ketchum, fended off the attacker after he knocked her off her bike from behind.

Eric Alan Liebl, 18, is accused of the attack on the Wood River Trails system just north of its intersection with Buttercup Road on April 16 at about 6:10 p.m.

He is currently being held in Blaine County jail on $100,000 bail. He is charged with one count of aggravated assault, a felony, and one count of battery, a misdemeanor.

In an affidavit of his interview with Lemmon at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, Blaine County sheriff’s deputy Greg Sage said Lemmon was riding south on her bike when she was knocked off it by a blow to her neck from behind.

Her assailant, also on a bike, allegedly stopped and attacked her. The affidavit reports that he appeared very angry, calling her names and using other obscene language.

When he produced a knife in his left hand, saying "I’m going to kill you," and "I’m going to knife you," Lemmon grabbed his left hand to protect herself.

Liebl then allegedly grabbed her by her helmet and attempted to throw her into the wooded area that borders the west side of the bike path at that location. He also allegedly kicked her several times in the stomach.

Despite the violence of the assault, Lemmon freed herself and ran to Buttercup Road and then to Highway 75, where she flagged down a motorist for help.

In another affidavit, deputy James Shaw reported that he was northbound on Highway 75, approaching the intersection with Buttercup Road, when the assault was reported over his radio.

Within seconds he noticed a Bronco pulled over on the east side of the highway with two women outside—Lemmon and Bobbi Ingalsbe, 41, the woman who pulled over to help.

After calling an ambulance for Lemmon, Shaw went to the scene and starting searching.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said that only 20 seconds transpired between the 911 call and Shaw’s response.

Shaw also reported Susan M. Keller, 32, was on the bike path at 6 p.m. She said she saw two southbound cyclists between Ohio Gulch and Buttercup Road. One was a woman fitting Lemmon’s description and the other was a man some distance behind her, who fit Liebl’s description.

Shaw’s affidavit also reveals that it was Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary who arrested Liebl about 40 minutes after the assault. Liebl was riding his bike southbound along Highway 75, about 1½ miles north of Hailey.

Femling said that although officers searched for the knife, they still hadn’t found it by Friday.

He said Lemmon said she did not know Liebl, and Liebl had refused to say whether he knew her.

Liebl was arraigned in magistrate court by Judge Robert J. Elgee the day after the crime.

Under Elgee’s questioning, Liebl said he was homeless and lived in Lion’s Park in Hailey. The park is located on the west side of the Big Wood River, off Bullion Street.

But McNary said Liebl actually was staying on private property along the western boundary of the park. The Boise owner of the property said Liebl was trespassing.


Back to Front Page
Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.