Teen unwittingly kills father while defending uncle

Teen unwittingly kills father while defending uncle »Play Video
EDGEWOOD, Wash. - A teenage boy who ran to defend his uncle from an attacker Friday night ended up stabbing his own father to death, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said.

The dramatic scene unfolded at a home in the 800 block of 109th Avenue Court East, at about 10:40 p.m. Friday, said Sgt. Mike Blair of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the home, and when they arrived, they found two brothers in the driveway. The 46-year-old brother was suffering from serious head wounds and the 47-year-old brother was suffering from multiple stab wounds. Both were rushed to the hospital.

An investigation found that several family members were at the home earlier when the 47-year-old brother unexpectedly arrived there.

When the 46-year-old brother went outside to see who was in the driveway, the older brother attacked him, striking him in the head several times with a crowbar, Blair said.

A 17-year-old boy inside the home heard the commotion and looked outside to see what was happening. When he saw the 46-year-old brother, who is his uncle, being attacked in the driveway he ran to help him.

The teen stabbed the attacker multiple times in an attempt to defend his uncle - not knowing that the attacker was his own father, Blair said.

The 47-year-old brother - the teen's father - died from his stab wounds several hours later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was later identified by family members as Ralph Paputsakis.

Paputsakis' girlfriend, Crystal Tate, said she can't explain why he might have gotten involved in a fight with his brother.

"He was very well loved and just a great person, looking for support - anything," she said. "I'm not sure what happened last night. He may have just snapped."

Blair said the teen was not taken into custody.

"Based on the circumstances ... we were comfortable that this person is not a danger to rest of society," he said. "He was standing up for the safety of his uncle - it just so happened that it ended up being his father who was killed."

Blair said it ultimately will be up to the prosecutor to decide whether to file charges against the teen. But he said the facts, as known so far, show that the teen was merely acting to defend his uncle.

"Certainly we would allow a member of our community to protect somebody who's being feloniously assaulted, and that's kind of where we're at right now," Blair said.