‘Camper’ attacks Russell neighbor

It appears that a homeless man who stabbed a resident 17 times, after being asked by the resident not to camp near his home, won’t be arraigned for days …

This is the area in outer East Portland, just south of the I-84 Freeway in the Russell neighborhood, where the homeless set up camps – and where a neighbor was nearly stabbed to death by a camper who was moving in.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A patch of land, owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation, east of NE 122nd Avenue, between NE Siskiyou Street and the I-84 Freeway, has been an attractive spot for homeless camps for some time, according to neighbors.

A resident near the off ramp, 65-year-old Kasey Lebechuck, has made efforts to keep the area clear of camps – which led to his attack in the area, at 6:22 p.m. on May 27.

Lebechuck’s daughter, Kayla McNeel, told reporters that her father has lived in Russell for about six years. And, during that time, he’s been actively trying to keep camps from being set up in the area.

Police and an ambulance come to the aid of the stabbing victim, after his confrontation by a homeless person.

Her father had been his way home from shopping, McNeel said, when he saw a man “setting up camp”. Lebechuck confronted the man, later identified as 25-year-old Todd William Schneider, and told him he was camping in a restricted area.

Schneider responded by saying he needed to get his cell phone out of his backpack – but instead pulled out a knife, and started stabbing Lebechuck, first in face – the blade slid into his left eye – and continued stabbing him 16 more times.

“In the hospital, Dad told me he was trying to get up off the ground, but the guy wouldn’t let him, and just kept stabbing him,” McNeel told reporters.

Although Lebechuck’s cheek was stabbed all the way through, and he was also stabbed in the arms and chest, torso, and received a perforated lung, the badly wounded man made his way to a nearby home, where neighbors called police.

Officers locate the suspect and take him into custody.

“As officers and emergency medical personnel provided the victim medical aid, additional officers searched the area and located a ‘person of interest’, and took him into custody,” reported Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris Burley.

That person of interest was Schneider, and he was lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 9:49 p.m. that evening on a charge of Assault in the First Degree.

PPB Assault Detail detectives took on the case, and presented findings to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

25-year-old Todd William Schneider faces three felony charges, including Attempted Murder. MCDC booking photo

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Schneider’s arraignment was initially delayed until May 29; and in Multnomah County Court, Schneider announced that he wished to serve as his own attorney on the felony charges of Attempted Murder, First Degree Assault, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

When the presiding judge asked that a public defender represent the accused until it could be determined if Schneider was competent to represent himself, the suspect refused.

The judge set aside Schneider’s arraignment until the following day, May 30, at which time he pled “not guilty” to all three felony charges.

Now, Schneider is scheduled to appear in court again on June 7. Until then, he remains in custody at MCDC, in lieu of $500,500 combined bail.

The daughter of the stabbing attack victim, Kasey Lebechuck, set up a “GoFundMe” page to help pay for her dad’s medical bills. Family provided photo

And, McNeel said doctors told her they believed that her dad would recover, but only after extensive physical therapy. She set up a GoFundMe.com account to help with her medical expenses: CLICK HERE to visit that page.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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