Victim fought off knife attack with her bare hands
By PETER BOLTZ
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
According to court records, Toni A. Lemmon, 47, a resident
of Ketchum, fended off the attacker after he knocked her off her bike from
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.