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Student charged in Texas college knife attack

Dylan Quick is accused in a 'building-to-building' attack that injured 14 at Lone Star College-CyFair near Houston – a campus of the college that saw a shooting attack in January.

April 09, 2013|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times
  • Students flee at Lone Star College-CyFair in Cypress, Texas, after a stabbing attack breaks out on campus. A suspect was tackled and later charged in the attack, which injured 14.
Students flee at Lone Star College-CyFair in Cypress, Texas, after a stabbing… (James Nielsen / Houston…)

CYPRESS, Texas — A male student who fantasized about stabbing people was charged Tuesday in connection with an attack that injured 14 people, two critically, at a Houston-area community college, authorities said.

Dylan Quick, 20, faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is suspected of acting alone in what one official described as a "building-to-building" attack at the Lone Star College-CyFair campus about 30 miles northwest of Houston.

"According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement late Tuesday. "He also indicated that he has been planning this incident for some time."

Quick used a razor-type knife that left pieces of blade in at least one victim, and the handle was found in Quick's backpack, the sheriff's office said.

The attack came less than three months after a shooting at another Lone Star campus north of Houston. The Jan. 22 shooting wounded three people and led to calls for increased security at Lone Star's six campuses, which serve 90,000 students.

After Tuesday's attack, the more than 6,000-student CyFair campus was locked down, then closed for the day. A dozen victims were hospitalized with lacerations, authorities said. Two declined treatment at the scene.

The first calls to police, at 11:12 a.m., reported a "man on the loose stabbing people," Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.

Student Michael Chalfan Jr., 22, of Houston said he saw the suspect run from about five law enforcement officers outside the campus Health Sciences Center before a civilian tackled him with the help of police, who used a Taser to subdue the suspect.

The tackler, Steven Maida, said he was leaving the school bookstore when he heard a girl screaming, "My friend got stabbed in the face," then saw another girl who had been stabbed.

Maida, 21, of Katy, Texas, said he ran into a nearby building, where he saw a young man who had been stabbed in the head and police chasing a suspect. He joined in.

"He saw us coming and he ran to a building, and we almost lost him," he said.

Eventually, Maida said, they caught up with the suspect near a parking lot and Maida tackled him. He said the suspect had a fold-out hunting-style knife in his pocket and didn't say anything.

Chalfan said emails circulating among his friends after the stabbings included a picture of one woman, a purported victim, with a box-cutter blade lodged in her cheek.

Nursing student Jeff Demolli, 19, of Houston said he saw four people leaving on stretchers with wounds to their necks and faces.

"Thank God it was a knife. It could have been a gun or an assault rifle," said nursing student Evaristo Terrones, 20, of Hockley, Texas.

"I would like to know why he did what he did, why he went around stabbing people," said Terrones, who added that he thought the campus should have more security and that teachers should be armed. "You just never know when someone is going to attack."

Jonathan Clayton, 20, was in the Health Sciences Center near where officials said the stabbings began. During the lockdown, he led fellow students in prayer.

"It's pretty terrifying," Clayton said as he left campus with his parents, saying he would return when classes resumed Wednesday. The attack was scary, he said, but school officials "handled it perfectly."

Hennessy-Fiske reported from Cypress; Pearce from Los Angeles.

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