A man accused of stabbing a customer at a Vancouver credit union apparently told police that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone. However, he didn’t want to be prevented from leaving because he had just robbed the place.
Timar A. Degraffe, 24, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on Thursday wearing an orange jumpsuit. He tried to duck the media’s cameras as he entered the courtroom to face allegations of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree robbery. The allegations stem from Tuesday afternoon’s incident at iQ Credit Union, 7017 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive.
A man, later identified by police as Degraffe, walked into the credit union at 12:58 p.m., demanded money and received more than $2,000 in cash. When a customer, William Uptmor, tried to intervene, the robber stabbed him in the stomach with a large kitchen knife, according to a probable cause statement filed in Superior Court.
Uptmor remains in critical condition at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.
Late Thursday, Uptmor’s family released the following statement through a hospital spokesman: “We wish to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers for Bill. He is a very humble and devoted husband and father, and would go out of his way to help others. He was trying to do a good deed. Bill remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. He suffered a very serious and traumatic injury, and has a long road to recovery. Our family asks for privacy at this time as we join together to help Bill in his recovery.”
Detectives with the Vancouver Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Degraffe on Wednesday. They reportedly recovered about $590, including three $20 bills that were identified as some of the cash given to the robber, court documents said.
Degraffe allegedly admitted to police that he entered the credit union with the intention of robbing it. He said he brought the knife with him in order to have a weapon, and that he stabbed Uptmor because he grabbed him to stop him from leaving, according to the affidavit.
He said he robbed the credit union to provide financial support for the mother of his child, who has a felony protection order against him, court documents state.
Degraffe reportedly led detectives to the clothing worn by the suspect at the time of the robbery and provided information about the possible location of the knife on a street in Portland. He was wearing shoes that matched the description provided by witnesses, according to court records.
Judge Derek Vanderwood appointed Jack Peterson, who was not present in the courtroom, to represent Degraffe. Degraffe asked if he could be appointed an attorney who was present, but Vanderwood said no one was available.
Vanderwood agreed to the prosecution’s requested $750,000 bail, based on the nature of the allegations and Degraffe’s criminal history.
Degraffe has previously been convicted of domestic violence assault, theft and criminal impersonation, according to Columbian archives.
He had been released from prison May 15, after serving time for a domestic violence conviction, the prosecution said. He has reportedly been homeless for the last six years and unemployed his whole life.
Degraffe is scheduled to be arraigned June 5.