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MARTIN COUNTY (CBSMiami) –The Martin County Sheriff’s Office has released the 911 call from a neighbor who was injured in a deadly ‘face-biting’ attack on a Tequesta couple.
“There’s a young man beating up a woman across the street,” states the 911 caller now identified as Jeff Fisher. “It’s in the garage. I think he had a knife but I’m not positive.”
Fisher tried to help Michelle and John Stevens after the couple was fatally stabbed by a 19-year-old man now identified as Florida State University student Austin Harrouff. When police arrived at the home, they said, Harrouff was biting the dead man’s face.
Fisher told 911 “There is a girl lying on the ground. He beat her up and I’m bleeding profusely,” he calmly told dispatchers. “I’ve been stabbed in the back.”
Fisher was stabbed five times according to his father. Once in the neck, three times in the back and once in the side. He managed to make it back inside his home and called 911. He is expected to survive.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters Harrouff may have been on hallucinogenic drugs when he attacked the couple at their Tequesta home late Monday.
The sheriff said Harrouff had joined his family for dinner at a restaurant a short distance away when he stormed off, apparently agitated about slow service. His parents were so worried by his behavior that they called police and some of his fraternity brothers in a futile attempt to find him before the attack.
About 45 minutes later, he apparently targeted the couple at random, the sheriff said.
“It’s inexplicable,” Snyder said. “One of the first things we try to do at a crime scene is try to understand the motive of the offender, because it is the motive of the offender that gets us going in the right direction. In this case, we can’t establish a motive. It’s ‘I don’t know.'”
Snyder said Harrouff stormed out of the nearby Duffy’s, a popular sports bar and restaurant, at about 8:30 p.m. Neighbor Jeff Fisher called 911 at 9:20 p.m. to report the attack, which apparently began in the garage where the couple liked to sit at night.
When the first deputy arrived at the couples’ home, she used her Taser on Harrouff, but it didn’t faze him, Snyder said. She tried pulling him off John Stevens’ body, but couldn’t. Other deputies arrived shortly along with a dog and it took all of them to subdue Harrouff. Snyder said they didn’t shoot, fearing their bullets would strike the victim.
“The suspect in this case was abnormally strong,” Snyder said, making him think Harrouff was on drugs. He said hospital blood tests showed no signs of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin or other common drugs; it will take longer to test for less common hallucinogenic drugs such as flakka or bath salts.
John Stevens died in the driveway. Michelle Stevens was found dead in the garage.
John Stevens owned a lawn service and the couple enjoyed boating, neighbors said.
Dr. Wade Harrouff, a dentist, declined to comment about his son’s arrest. It is unknown if Austin Harrouff has an attorney.