Police say Washougal man stabbed neighbor

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

A Washougal man was arrested on suspicion of assault after, according to police, he stabbed a neighbor during a dispute over the weekend.

Rudolph F. Zehner, 60, made a first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree assault in connection with the Sunday incident.

According to court records, police said they responded to his apartment building at 329 20th St., that evening when he called 911 to report he stabbed his neighbor with a knife. Upon arrival, officers found his next door neighbor, Patrick Warmuth, with a stab wound on his right shoulder.

Zehner told officers he found Warmuth lying on the sidewalk drunk, adding that the two don’t get along. Warmuth said he was standing on his own front steps, and there was railing separating them, a probable cause affidavit says.

Zehner said Warmuth got up and behaved belligerently, prompting Zehner to draw a folding knife from his pocket and open it. He said he warned Warmuth he intended to defend himself. Warmuth then took a swing at him, Zehner said, so he thrust with his knife, according to court records.

Warmuth’s strike missed Zehner, he said, adding, “I must have been too fast for him.” The two retreated to their apartments, and Zehner called 911. Officers searched his apartment and found a folding knife with blood on the blade, the affidavit says.

Zehner’s next court date was set for Aug. 31.