UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A Marvin teenager is accused of stabbing a 13-year-old in the back while the boy was jogging on a trail last month in a Weddington neighborhood, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The attack happened Sept. 12 around 7:15 p.m. on a walking trail in the Weddington Chase subdivision.
Rider Gage Walther, 17, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury.
(Rider Gage Walther)
Deputies said the boy was randomly attacked while running along the trail near the neighborhood pond. After circling the pond, the boy was leaving the trail when officials said Walther ran up behind him and stabbed him the back.
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Officials said the boy runs on his school's cross-country team and decided to run later in the evening because of the hot temperatures that day.
Walther ran off, and since then deputies have worked tirelessly to find him, interviewing witnesses, following leads and looking at surveillance videos.
Walther faces additional charges for injury to real property and injury to personal property in connection with graffiti markings discovered at several locations, including the running trail in Weddington Chase and Marvin Ridge High School.
Detectives are still working to find out what led to the attack.
"There was no obvious motive," Union County Chief Deputy Tony Underwood said. "There was no known association between our victim and this person. It appears to be completely random."
Detectives said witness statements and surveillance video from that day led them to Walther.
Court documents show the teen is the suspect in several arsons starting back in March, and odd graffiti on the trail and at Marvin Ridge High School.
A warrant says detectives interviewed him about the stabbing on Sept. 16.
They said he told them he was out riding his bike that afternoon and "when he got home his parents accused him of stabbing the victim however, he denied doing so during the interview.”
Walther is out of jail on bail.
Detectives have also charged him with damaging property related to the graffiti.
He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
Channel 9 has learned the 13-year-old victim is out of the hospital and doing better.
Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.
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