Questions linger in Steamboat library stabbing
Steamboat police detective preparing report for DA’s office
April 12, 2011
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs Police Department plans to complete its investigation this week of the April 4 stabbing at Bud Werner Memorial Library, but there will likely be some unanswered questions.
Steamboat police Detective Dave Kleiber said he is finalizing witness statements and compiling them into a report that he will deliver to the Routt County District Attorney's Office. Blood samples and knives are being sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis.
Kleiber said he has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses in addition to the three teenage boys involved in the altercation with 40-year-old Adam Huber on a balcony above the library's teen reading area. Kleiber said Huber has refused to be interviewed by police.
At the time of the altercation, there was no one else on the balcony, Kleiber said. Witnesses he has spoken to include adults and teens who were below the balcony as well as other people who witnessed parts of the incident from different locations on the main level of the library.
"People were wondering if they were just horsing around," Kleiber said.
He said witnesses close to the balcony reported that the three teenage boys were being "loud, obnoxious and inappropriate" on the balcony near a windowsill where Huber was resting. Huber confronted the boys about their behavior in a calm manner, according to witnesses.
Kleiber said it is unclear who touched whom first and how the incident became physical. At some point, police think Huber grabbed a teen's wrist, the boys laughed at Huber and Huber put a boy in a headlock. Witnesses reported that Huber tried to throw that boy over the balcony. A 14-year-old boy intervened, put Huber in a headlock and was stabbed in the hands with a knife by Huber during the fight, police think. Huber then calmly walked down from the balcony, and library staff met him there.
The mother of the 14-year-old boy who was stabbed said last week that her son was expected to recover but would likely need physical therapy. She said it sounded like Huber was insulted with the way the boys may have shrugged Huber off when he initially confronted them.
"The guy woke up and didn't like the way they were joking around," the mother said. "I think he got insulted with how they were acknowledging him."
She said her son got involved in the fight because he was afraid for his friend.
"If he hadn't stepped in, that boy could have gone over the balcony," the mother said.
She said the situation sounded chaotic.
"Teens can be obnoxious, but he didn't deserve to be stabbed," she said.
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com