A 53-year-old man who stabbed a Lacey McDonald’s customer will spend eight months in jail.
Thomas R. Stanfield pleaded guilty Wednesday to a second-degree assault charge, and told Thurston County Superior Court Judge John Skinder that he had been trying to defend himself. However, Stanfield admitted that he took the incident too far when he stabbed the victim in the neck, chest and back with a metal file.
“I reacted wrong and I apologize,” Stanfield said. “I took it too far.”
Stanfield was arrested by the Lacey Police Department following the March 3 attack at the McDonald’s at 502 Sleater-Kinney Road SE. He has spent the past three months in the Thurston County jail.
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Restaurant employees reported that Stanfield spoke to an employee at the counter and became upset. He then threatened to kill two people who were sitting at a table and several employees, according to court documents. A male customer intervened.
Stanfield approached the customer with a long triangular metal file in one hand and what appeared to be a knife in the other hand, according to court documents. The two men got into an altercation, and the customer was stabbed multiple times in the back, neck and chest with the metal file.
Stanfield fled the scene on foot, but was found by a police K-9 unit under some brush.
The victim recovered after being treated at Providence St. Peter Hospital.
A store manager told police that Stanfield had been told to leave after he had entered the restaurant asking for free food, according to court documents.
Skinder said Wednesday that the case could have easily been far worse — that the victim could have been killed, and Stanfield could have been facing murder charges.
“This could have turned out far worse,” Skinder said. “As it was, (the victim) was injured.”