A Silver Spring man who police said stabbed a fellow customer at a Colesville post office Thursday was ordered held on a $500,000 bond Friday in Montgomery County District Court.
Ray Alfred Young, 67, of the 600 block of Concerto Lane, is charged with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and concealing a dangerous weapon after he confronted the victim outside the post office Thursday afternoon, according to court documents. Citing the nature of the offenses, Judge Eugene Wolfe was unwilling to reduce Young’s bond at Friday’s hearing.
“He thought [the victim] cut in line and then that is what set him off,” Wolfe said after reviewing the case. “ ... I am not willing at this stage to put him back out on the street knowing what I do about this case.”
According to Montgomery County police, the assault took place shortly before 2:18 p.m. Thursday when Young confronted the victim, a 58-year-old man, outside the post office at 13217 New Hampshire Ave. The two begun to argue and Young pulled a butterfly knife, stabbing the victim twice in the chest and twice in his left shoulder blade, said Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Feeney, who is prosecuting the case.
Two female postal service employees saw the fight and rushed to the victim’s aid, eventually subduing Young with pepper spray, Feeney added.
“[Young] then went to the trunk of his car and retrieved what one of the employees believed was a baseball bat and began to approach the victim again,” Feeney told Wolfe, adding that Young did not leave the area until the postal employees told him they had called the police.
Gary Courtois, Young’s defense attorney, asked Wolfe to allow his client to be released to his family’s care on pre-trial supervision, arguing that Young has no prior history of violent crimes and is, by all accounts, a harmless and law-abiding citizen.
“He must have felt threatened in some way ... He is as stable a citizen as you could ask for,” Courtois told Wolfe, citing his talks with Young’s family members before the hearing. “I do not believe this behavior is likely to repeat itself.”
Courtois also mentioned Young’s years of admirable work with the U.S. Department of Labor along with his significant health problems. Young has cancer, which is in remission, but is missing most of his teeth, Courtois said.
Several of Young’s family members, including his brother and son, attended the hearing but did not address the judge and declined to comment on the case.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County police are applauding the quick thinking of the two postal service employees who intervened in the fight.
“According to the detective sergeant leading this investigation, the actions of these employees may have saved the life of, but most definitely assisted in preventing further injury to, the victim,” wrote county police spokeswoman Officer Janelle Smith in a department press release about the incident.
Smith said that, while Young confronted the victim for cutting in line, post office employees offered a different version to detectives investigating the case.
“[The victim] was at the counter doing business and an employee asked him to step aside so that he could finish some paperwork,” Smith said. “When he had finished, the manager told him to step back into line so that they could help him.”
The victim remained hospitalized Friday, Feeney said.
Margie Rodriguez, a customer relations coordinator at the Colesville branch, applauded what she called the quick thinking and courage of the two postal employees, manager Estela Padilla and Eileen Jankowiak.
“They were able to think very quickly on their feet and I can say that they are certainly grateful that it didn’t amount to something very grave — that it didn’t result in death,” Rodriguez said Friday. “We’re all feeling that sense of gratitude. ... Sometimes we know what the right thing to do is, but it can take great courage to act on that knowledge in a situation like this.”