Family: Gas station clerk in good spirits following 'unprovoked' stabbing
A man who was stabbed in the throat at a Muldoon gas station over the weekend is expected to fully recover, despite a torn trachea, an emergency surgery and a stay in ICU.
Anchorage Police said around 8:30 Sunday morning, near Muldoon Road and Duben Street, a Holiday Gas Station employee flagged down an APD officer and said her co-worker had been stabbed.
"[The suspect] walked into the gas station; a male and female employee were inside," police wrote in a statement Sunday morning. "There were no other customers. The suspect made some type of comment about “getting gas either way,” reached across the front counter, and stabbed the male employee once in the upper body."
Police said the suspect took off without taking anything from the store or getting any gas.
Around 11 a.m. Monday, APD dispatch received word of a suspicious person in the parking lot of Firetap Alehouse Muldoon. Responding officers found Eric Thomas Clark, 31, noted he matched the description of the suspect in the stabbing and took him into custody for questioning. He's now facing charges of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery.
The victim's family identified him as 32-year-old Zachary Seibert.
"Everyone is very surprised that Zachary was assaulted because he is a very gentle, kind, loving person," said Seibert's mother, Vonice Larsen Bailey.
She said the knife came within a millimeter of severing Seibert's artery.
"Because air was escaping through his trachea under his skin, it made his face, neck, everything swell up -- he also had a lot of bruising from the hit -- and that is what prompted them to have to go in and do surgery because his throat was swelling shut," Larsen Bailey explained.
She believes Seibert anticipated danger and was protecting his coworkers.
"Zachary had stepped in front of the counter so that Mr. Clark couldn't get behind there and attack the two coworkers that he has, as well," said Larsen Bailey.
Larsen Bailey was at Anchorage's Jail Court Tuesday to give a victim impact statement and request Clark be kept in custody, but Clark was not transported to court for his arraignment due to "combative" behavior.
"Me being his mom, I was definitely wanting to cause that man physical harm for hurting my baby, because even though Zachary is 6-foot-3, to me, he's still, you know, this tall," Larsen Bailey explained, holding a hand toward the ground, "And I want to protect him. But he shook his head no. He just wants this guy to get the help that he needs."
Seibert's mother said she frequently worried he would be hurt because he used to work overnight and the graveyard shift and was happy to hear he was recently moved to a daytime shift.
"He went from midnights and graveyards to day shift and, in theory, safety, but I guess there's no real safe time of the day," said Larsen Bailey.
She says Seibert is anxious to get better and has plans to attend UAA in the fall with the hopes of becoming and airplane mechanic.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story misspelled Zachary Seibert's surname.
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