A Lakewood man charged with stabbing a neighbor is being held on $200,000 bail.
Benjamin Lewis, 37, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree assault for Sunday’s incident at the Lakewood Estates.
The victim suffered life-threatening injuries.
Police were called to the 5600 block of Boston Avenue Sunday after several residents reported seeing two men fighting in the parking lot. Witnesses said they saw Lewis straddling the victim, repeatedly stabbing him and trying to strangle him.
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When officers arrived, the victim was found unconscious in the parking lot next to steak knife with the handle broken off.
Police arrested Lewis just up the road from the apartment complex after he tried to drive away.
Lewis and his girlfriend told detectives the victim had been asking for favors lately and acting bizarrely. When he walked by their apartment window Sunday and allegedly mimicked firing a gun with hand, Lewis confronted him.
“Lewis told us that he had helped them with their car and then grew weary of the constant requests for assistance that seemed increasingly demanding and intimidating,” records show.
He told police he acted in self-defense and only assaulted the victim after seeing him reach for his waistband, where Lewis feared the victim carried a gun.
Lewis is a former U.S. Army combat medic who served in Iraq and suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, records show.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653