NORTH TONAWANDA – A North Tonawanda teenager was in Niagara County Jail on attempted murder charges after a drinking party turned violent Saturday, with witnesses credited with saving the victim’s life by wrestling a knife away from the suspect.
The alleged assailant, Jordan L. Wankasky, 17, of Nash Road, and the victim, Andrew Huffman, 17, of the Town of Lockport, had been drinking and playing beer pong at a party in a home in the 90 block of Hagen Street at about 5 a.m. Saturday, according to North Tonawanda Police Capt. Thomas Krantz.
“The suspect lost,” Krantz said.
Wankasky then allegedly went into the kitchen, got a knife with a seven-inch blade and stabbed Huffman four times: twice on the top of the head, a glancing blow to the back of the head, and another near the neck in the upper shoulder, Krantz said.
“If it was just three or four inches to the front of his neck, he would have been dead,” Krantz said of the stab wounds.
Wankasky fled the scene but was arrested about an hour later in a yard on East Robinson Street after a search by police.
Krantz said witnesses believed Wankasky was trying to kill the victim, not just injure him.
He said those witnesses were able to wrestle the knife away from Wankasky.
“They probably stopped him from continuing. Had they not been involved, there would have been a good chance he would have been successful,” Krantz said.
Huffman was treated at Erie County Medical Center, where staples and stitches were used to close the wounds. He was released Saturday night.
Wankasky was arraigned in North Tonawanda City Court on Sunday on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He was remanded to Niagara County Jail on $20,000 bail.
No one else was involved and no other charges are expected, according to Krantz.
Buffalo News reports show that Huffman, the victim, was charged with underage possession of alcohol in March by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office following a raid on an underage drinking party in the Town of Lockport. In that March raid, a 15-year-old girl was treated for extreme intoxication.