A man who allegedly stabbed an Astoria Rescue Mission worker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder.
Stephen George Foxon, 52, of Astoria, allegedly stabbed William Eckstein, 56, of Astoria, in the stomach earlier this month. He was indicted last week on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and five counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
Rescue mission staffers told residents the day of the incident that they were going to search the house for marijuana, according to court records. They had suspected a resident was in possession of the drug, which is against house rules. Foxon allegedly objected to the search, and staff asked him to collect his belongings and leave immediately.
Foxon allegedly then stood up, approached Eckstein, who was leading the search, and punched him out of a chair and onto the ground. While on the ground, Foxon allegedly continued the attack, eventually pulling out a knife and stabbing Eckstein. The worker’s arm was also slashed during the encounter.
Foxon was then pulled away from Eckstein by other staffers and residents, who were able to keep him away from Eckstein before escorting the worker outside. Foxon allegedly continued trying to attack Eckstein once he learned he was outside and punched and kicked staffers as he tried to approach him again.
Someone hit Foxon over the head with a heavy broom, causing the attack to stop. Foxon then waited for Astoria police to arrive.
Eckstein, who has since been released from Columbia Memorial Hospital, underwent surgery for his injuries.
Foxon was also taken to the hospital for a minor injury. At the hospital, he admitted to police that he was upset about the search and punched Eckstein, according to court records.
He also allegedly said he remembered fighting Eckstein, putting his hand in his pocket and feeling a knife. He did not recall the alleged stabbing but did say he heard Eckstein tell another staffer that Foxon had stabbed him.
Bail has been set at $250,000. Foxon is scheduled for an early resolution conference in September.
Foxon pleaded no contest to second-degree arson in 2015 and was placed on 18 months probation after he set his car on fire with his clothes inside. He was upset at a landlord for putting a Miles Crossing house his ex-wife was renting up for sale.
Since the car was his property, Kris Kaino — his court-appointed attorney — argued he hadn’t done anything illegal. The fire was, however, 5 feet from the house and near people. Foxon and the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office ended up agreeing to the plea deal that included probation.
Deputy District Attorney Dawn Buzzard said at the time she was concerned about whether Foxon, who had violated probation from a previous theft conviction, could stay out of trouble.
“This is a scary incident and the defendant showed absolutely no remorse,” Buzzard said. “I have no faith that he is going to be successful. I’m worried he is going to hurt someone or burn something down.”