Wednesday, July 28, 2021
July 28, 2021

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Man’s bail set at $1 million in Vancouver attempted murder case

Police say he stabbed a towing company office worker in the neck

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A judge set bail at $1 million Monday for a man accused of sneaking up behind an employee at a towing business as she worked at her desk and stabbing her in the neck.

Hunter Alexander Levi, 20, no address provided, appeared via Zoom in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder in the Friday attack. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 25.

The prosecution said Levi is on supervision with the Washington Department of Corrections and has an active escape warrant and pending case for fourth-degree assault.

A jail intake sheet shows that Levi has “known, stated or observed mental health problems.”

Vancouver police officers were dispatched shortly after 2 p.m. to Retriever Towing, 6601 E. 18th St., for a report of an assault that had just occurred. An employee, Lori Robertson, said an unknown man, later identified by police as Levi, assaulted her from behind and then ran away, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Robertson said the assailant entered the business through an open, back garage door. He had removed his shoes so she would not hear him approach; she said he picked up his shoes as he fled, the affidavit states.

Police said Robertson suffered a 1- to 2-inch puncture mark at the base of her neck, just above her collarbone, court records say. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

A witness, Jodi Yukich, said she heard Robertson calling for help and saw a man running away. She provided a description of him and said she recognized him as being homeless in the area, according to the affidavit.

Video surveillance at the business captured the assailant entering through the open garage door and moving stealthily inside in his socks. A knife is seen in his hand, court records state.

The video shows Levi standing behind Robertson for five seconds before raising the knife, the affidavit says.

“The suspect keeps the knife raised above Lori for 11 seconds as he targets the exact spot and forcefully jabs the knife into Lori’s neck,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Police, a K-9 and drones from the Vancouver Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for Levi. He discarded layers of clothing and hid in nearby businesses, police say, before they pursued him on foot near Northeast 25th Street and Burton Road, according to a police news release and court records.

Police said they found a folding knife on Levi, and his jacket and pants were located in a dumpster the witness saw him near, the affidavit says.

Levi told police he traded the clothing to an unknown man for the knife and some marijuana, according to the affidavit.