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Freshman Michael Knorps had three words for those who wanted to know how he was doing after a knife attack barely missed an artery on his neck.
“I am fine,” Knorps, 17, told a Campus Press reporter by phone from a relative’s home in Boulder.
Knorps is originally from Chicago, but moved into his dorm room in Darley North last week. He was walking through the UMC terrace Monday morning around 9:40 a.m. when a man nearby began a rant about religion, the end of the world and Columbine High School, witnesses said. The man then grabbed Knorps and cut his throat with what looked like a steak knife.
Prior to being subdued, the suspect, allegedly at the sight of approaching police officers, stabbed himself repeatedly in the chest. Police then used a Taser on the man several times, witnesses said, before he was transported to the hospital because of self-inflicted stab wounds.
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard identified the man as Kenton Astin, 39, of Boulder. Astin is a former cashier at the Alferd Packer Grill in the UMC, and his most current address is a Boulder residence for the mentally ill.
Knorps, described by friends as quiet and reserved, declined to say more, while his roommate says Knorps told him he would like to come back to CU but he is not certain if his family will allow it. Knorps is studying finance.
After being taken to the hospital, Knorps spoke to his roommate, Cyrus Hoda, 18, a freshman pre-journalism major.
“Mike seemed like he was in good spirits. He was mad because they (paramedics) ripped one of his favorite shirts,” Hoda said.
Mike Rush, 18, a freshman open-option major, is a friend of Knorps. They live on the same floor of their dorm, where Knorps has been nicknamed “Special K” or “Special Mike” by his friends.
“It’s crazy to think Mike could have died before he was even 18 years old,” Rush said.
Hoda and Rush describe Knorps as being very family-oriented, and they say he told them he made his decision to come to CU to be close to his older sister, who lives in Boulder.
“It was hard to believe it when we heard the rumors about what happened. We were all like, Special Mike got cut? No way,” Rush said.
Rush and several friends went through their dorm collecting money Monday night to buy Knorps a jersey or hat from one of his favorite teams, the Chicago Bulls.
Despite some students questioning the safety of CU’s campus, Rush and Hoda agreed that they still feel safe here.
“I feel like this was an isolated incident. It seems like you’ve got about the same chances of being hit by lightening as having your throat cut,” Hoda said.
A dry erase board outside Knorps and Hoda’s dorm room is covered in notes from friends who wish Knorps well, and in large blue letters, reads: “Hope you’re okay!”
Contact Campus Press editor Ashleigh Oldland at Ashleigh.Oldland@thecampuspress.com