Man arrested on suspicion of stabbing teen at Bud Werner Memorial Library
April 4, 2011
Steamboat Springs — A Steamboat Springs teenager was taken to the hospital with knife wounds to both hands after police said a man stabbed him during an altercation at Bud Werner Memorial Library late Monday afternoon.
Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said officers arrested Adam Huber, 40, and placed him in custody at Routt County Jail. Rae said potential charges would be discussed today with 14th Judicial District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham.
The injured teen was transported by emergency responders to Yampa Valley Medical Center at about 5 p.m. Monday. Both of his hands were bandaged, but he didn't appear to suffer any wounds elsewhere to his body. Rae said the 14-year-old boy had "stab wounds through and through, one on each hand."
The teenager was alert and responsive when responders brought him out of the library. Rae said his parents met him at the hospital.
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Rae said Huber was on the balcony above the library's teen reading area, and may have been asleep, before the altercation. Witnesses in the reading area said a group of three teenage boys grew increasingly rowdy on the balcony before Huber grabbed one of the teens by the coat.
Witness Erica Royer, 27, said she was using one of the computers in the library's teen reading area when she heard and saw a commotion above her.
"It was getting louder and louder," Royer said. "All of a sudden, the older gentleman was trying to throw one of the younger kids over the railing."
Another teen then grabbed Huber, Royer said. That teen, the 14-year-old, was stabbed in his hands with what appeared to be a small blade, she said.
Descriptions of the knife varied. Rae said police recovered two knives from Huber, but he declined to comment further.
Wyatt Wilson, 18, was playing chess with friends in the reading area and also witnessed the incident.
"It looked like he had a pretty big knife," Wilson said, holding his two index fingers several inches apart.
According to witnesses and Rae, Huber then walked downstairs from the balcony into the reading area, where librarians met him. Huber peacefully walked with librarians into an office, where he stayed until police arrived.
Other teens in the reading area said they knew the three on the balcony. The 14-year-old was described as an eighth-grader at Steamboat Springs Middle School. The other two were described as a seventh-grader at the middle school and a student at Steamboat Springs High School. Rae said all three teens were between the ages of 13 and 16.
Rae said he thinks Huber moved to the Steamboat Springs area in fall. Rae said police have had previous contact with Huber for occurrences such as lighting a fire in a public park to cook food at night. Friends of Huber, standing outside the library today, said he's been in Steamboat Springs for about a year and works odd jobs such as woodworking and roof shoveling.
Some residents who know him and were at the library Monday described Huber as a generally friendly person.
No one else was reported injured in the incident.
Library Director Chris Painter said Huber is a frequent visitor to the library. She said he's not often in the teen area. She said library staff consistently tries to discourage adults from being in the teen area, which staff monitors throughout the day.
"We generally keep a very close eye on all kids in the teen area," Painter said. "I think this situation happened very quickly and escalated before we had a chance to intervene."
To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com