September 22, 2016

JEFFERSON

A Jefferson woman’s account of being stabbed Monday night by an unknown man in her own backyard is, in a word, chilling.

Stacie Clark, 38, said she was with her puppy in the backyard of 506 N. Oak St. when the man in all black grabbed her by the neck and pulled her into him.

“I could feel his mouth on my ear,” Clark described Wednesday from her room at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. “He whispered, ‘Shh, don’t speak.’ And then he stabbed me.”

A knife or some other sharp object entered the left side of her body about 5 inches from her belly button — just an inch away from the abdominal cavity, she said.

The stabbing was reported to police about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Clark was flown by LifeFlight to Iowa Methodist, where she was expected to be released Wednesday.

“Physically, I’m going to heal,” she said. “Mentally, I think my battle’s just started.”

Jefferson Police Chief Mark Clouse on Wednesday acknowledged “an injury from what appeared to be an edged weapon,” but he defended his decision to keep the incident from going public until now.

A daily police log released by the department categorized the incident as a “reported assault,” and provided no other details.

“I didn’t want to whip the community into a frenzy about it,” Clouse told The Jefferson Herald.

Clouse indicated he didn’t want to overexcite the public during homecoming week — a time when many teens are on the streets after dark.

“We don’t have someone just running around town stabbing people,” Clouse said.

“I’m confident this isn’t something the public should be afraid of,” he added.

Clouse called it an “isolated incident” that’s still being investigated.

“We’re still trying to determine what happened,” he said.

Clark called herself “very lucky,” but was clearly still in a state of shock.

“It’s Jefferson,” said Clark, a 1996 graduate of Jefferson-Scranton High School. “I never thought in a hundred million years something like this would happen in Jefferson.”

Clark was home alone at the time. Fiance Brinlee Jones was out of state on work.

The attack, however, would seem to be the culmination of a series of “weird stuff that’s been going on,” Clark explained.

She said unknown men would stop in the alley behind her home, get out of their cars and stare at her from over the fence.

That was followed by a man who repeatedly walked by her house.

“He seemed out of place,” Clark said.

She’s still not sure whether her attacker was physically in her backyard or reached over the fence to grab her.

She also isn’t sure whether she was being watched or caught someone in the act of a crime.

“I can see his eyes,” she said. “They were green and so intense.”

She said she fell back after being stabbed once.

The man apparently then fled.

“I don’t want him to do it to someone else,” Clark said.