Enumclaw teen charged in stabbing

Enumclaw resident Max Hellesto will be arraigned Monday, facing two charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a fight that shook a quiet residential neighborhood.

Enumclaw resident Max Hellesto will be arraigned Monday, facing two charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a fight that shook a quiet residential neighborhood.

Hellesto, 18, has been held at the Regional Justice Center since the Aug. 6 brawl that left Anthony Schonians fighting for his life and a teenager recovering from a knife wound to his arm.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Hellesto with one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault. His bail was set at $250,000.

The early-afternoon confrontation, which took place at the intersection of Loraine Street and Kibler Avenue, is recounted in a “probable cause” statement prepared by Detective Nona Zilbauer of the Enumclaw Police Department.

According to the court document, it was 1:10 p.m. when an Enumclaw officer and a Washington State Patrol trooper responded to a report of a fight involving weapons. The officer was waved down by several people and was told Hellesto had stabbed two individuals before leaving the scene in a silver Honda. The officer found a 16-year-old boy with a laceration on his right bicep; more significantly, Schonians was nearby, having trouble breathing due to a puncture wound to his chest and two more to his torso.

Schonians was airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center where his wounds were deemed to be life-threatening. The 16-year-old was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, where 13 staples closed his laceration. He also had several superficial cuts.

While the officer was speaking to witnesses, the 16-year-old pointed out a passing car, the Honda that had both delivered Hellesto to the fight and whisked him away. It was driven by Hellesto’s 17-year-old girlfriend. Police stopped the automobile and, while they were questioning the girl, Hellesto walked to the vehicle with red-stained pants.

Zilbauer interviewed a 15-year-old girl who said Hellesto had a knife in his hand when he arrived, exited the vehicle and stabbed Schonians in the chest. The 16-year-old was stabbed when he intervened, the witness reported.

Interviewed later at the Enumclaw police station, Hellesto offered a different account. He said he had taken a knife along for protection and the two combatants confronted each other. Hellesto said after Schonians reached into a pocket he first pushed the victim, then stabbed him in the chest. He said he swung the knife backward while being assaulted by the 16-year-old.

Another version was turned in by the younger victim. After being discharged from the hospital, he told police Hellesto arrived at the fight scene sitting in the back seat of the Honda, a knife already in his hand. He said there was a brief verbal confrontation before Hellesto jumped from the vehicle and chased Schonians, still holding the knife. In the 16-year-old’s version – which was cited in a court document – Hellesto caught Schonians, pinned him against a fence and stabbed him.

The 16-year-old said he then punched Hellesto twice to protect his friend and the defendant started “flailing” with the knife, slicing the victim’s arm.

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