Libby man stable following Sunday afternoon stabbing

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A Libby man in his seventies was in stable condition Monday after being stabbed multiple times Sunday late afternoon while out for a walk. His suspected attacker was arrested shortly thereafter.

Doug Crum was stabbed at least 10 times and suffered two collapsed lungs in the attack, Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe said Monday. The incident occurred on the path that extends beyond the end of Kootenai River Road in Libby.

Bowe said Crum was setting out on a routine five-mile walk when he “noticed an individual acting different” at the end of the road.

The man’s behavior made Crum “a little bit nervous,” Bowe said, yet he decided to proceed as planned.

Crum was about three-quarters of a mile into his walk when he turned and saw the man following him and holding a knife, Bowe said.

Without saying a word, the man — later identified as Michael Borchardt Robertson, 24, of Yakima, Washington — started attacking Crum with the knife, Bowe said.

Robertson stabbed Crum in the front and back at least 10 times before Crum was able to use bear spray to stop the attack, Bowe said.

Despite his injuries and finding it “hard to breathe,” Bowe said Crum walked back to his car and reported the incident to a passerby before driving home. From there his wife drove him to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.

On the way to the hospital they came across sheriff’s deputies responding to a 911 call from the passerby Crum had notified, Bowe said. The deputies followed the couple to Cabinet Peaks, got a description of the suspect from Crum and returned to the scene of the stabbing, where they found Robertson nearby and arrested him.

Crum was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where he was in the intensive care unit and in stable condition Monday, Bowe said. Crum’s prognosis was “very good” and could be attributed to his high fitness level, he said.

Bowe said the attack was still being investigated and no motive had yet been identified. He said they were “looking at mental issues” as potential factors.

Crum’s ability to respond to and survive the attack “lends credence to people needing to be aware of their surroundings and pay attention,” Bowe said.

“That [awareness] helped him stop the attack,” he said.

Bowe did not yet know what charge or charges Robertson might face.

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