GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan man is accused of stabbing an 11-year-old boy 10 times after randomly going door-to-door last week in search of someone to kill, police and the boy’s mother allege.
Denny William McNees Jr., 21, of Grand Rapids, is charged with assault with the intent to murder and first-degree home invasion, according to court records. McNees, who is described by police as homeless, was booked into the Kent County Jail, where his bail was set at $500,000.
Grand Rapids police officials said officers were called around 3 a.m. Thursday to a home in the 800 block of Sheffield Street Southwest for a home invasion. When they arrived, they found the boy, identified by WOOD in Grand Rapids as Yariel Suarez, suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Yariel was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries, which were non-life-threatening, police said.
“Officers conducted a canine track from the location of the crime, and about 30 minutes later apprehended a subject in the 700 block of West Fulton Street,” a police statement read.
The area where McNees was found is about 2 miles from the Suarez home, a Grand Rapids police spokesman told the station.
“Fortunately, with the freshly fallen snow, between tracks and the K-9 tracks, we were able to follow the suspect,” Sgt. Dan Adams said.
Yariel’s mother, Yahira Suarez, told WOOD that detectives told her McNees confessed.
“He had no reason (for the stabbing) whatsoever. He said, ‘I just felt like killing,’” Suarez told the news station. “He went door-to-door, and he was trying to open doors and my back door happened to be the door he was able to get in and that was it.”
Police officials confirmed that the attack appeared to be completely random.
“It’s an unusual incident and unfortunately one of those things that remind us that even when we’re home, especially at night, it’s a good idea to keep the doors and windows locked -- not to say the family did anything to ask for this to happen or did anything wrong,” Adams told WOOD.
Suarez said she was in the next room, asleep, when McNees attacked her son, who she said has high-functioning autism. She said her son’s screams woke her from a deep sleep. When she flicked on the lights, she saw blood everywhere, she said.
“He stabbed him 10 times,” Suarez said. “Four times in the back of the head and I want to say four times all around his face. One (wound) was so hard that the knife broke in his mouth.”
She told the news station she and Yariel are staying with family for now. As she wonders if she’ll ever feel safe again, she said it is hard to tell how her son is processing the trauma.
Suarez said she wants justice for her son, who turned 12 on Sunday.
“(Yariel) is the most innocent person and the most loving person, and (McNees) damaged that,” she said.
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