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Man stabs his attackers on Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Posted: 2:43 PM, Apr 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-30 15:43:02-04
Safety inspections finish at Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Council Bluffs police and fire personnel responded to the area of North 42nd and River's Edge Parkway Monday evening for a stabbing.

The victim, 27-year-old Andrew Poeckes, was allegedly followed and assaulted by two individuals--19-year-old Ronald Buchanan and 27-year-old Tevin Vanderpool--on his way to Council Bluffs after working in downtown Omaha.

Poeckes gave the following account to detectives, a press release from the Council Bluffs Police Department says:
"After getting off work in downtown Omaha, he was walking to his Council Bluffs home, crossing the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge. While on the bridge, Poeckes noticed Buchanan and Vanderpool on the bridge as well. He stated that these two were being loud and aggressive, attempting to start fights with other people on the bridge. As Poeckes walked past them, Buchanan and Vanderpool reportedly made derogatory comments directed at him. Poeckes stated that he did not respond to the comments and continued to walk eastward, across the bridge. Buchanan and Vanderpool followed Poeckes and as he neared the bottom of the bridge on the Iowa side, Buchanan and Vanderpool began to assault Poeckes, repeatedly punching him in the face and pulling on his clothing. While he was being attacked, Poeckes was able to pull out a small folding pocket knife that he was carrying in his pocket and stabbed both Buchanan and Vanderpool one time each in their abdomens."

Several witnesses gave statements indicating they saw the two suspects assaulting Poeckes, with Poeckes eventually swinging back in self defense.

The witnesses failed to realize Poecke had a knife until they saw the suspects laying on the ground and bleeding from their mid-sections.

Investigation into the incident is continuing. Preliminary findings are that Poecke was acting in self-defense when using his pocket knife to fend off the suspects.

The County Attorney's Office has been contacted and the Council Bluffs PD anticipate requesting arrest warrants for Buchanan and Vanderpool, charging each with assault, the press release says.

Poeckes, who recieved hospital treatment for facial injuries, was released following an interview.

According to the press release, Buchanan is in stable condition while Vanderpool is in critical condition from his injuries.

Detectives are interested in speaking with others who may have seen anything relevant to the case Monday evening on or near the bridge. Those with any information are asked to call 712-328-4728.