An alcohol-related argument that ended with a Depew man accused of stabbing and nearly killing his son left residents of a quiet Depew street searching for answers on Christmas Eve.
Neighbors on Domino Court, a 10-family residential dead-end street near Transit Road, said they had no inkling of any troubles between Louis A. Knobloch and his son, Jason, prior to the Sunday night incident that left the son fighting for his life and his father distraught.
Agreeing to speak on the guarantee of anonymity, six neighbors all described the Knoblochs as a "nice" family that has lived on the street for about 20 years with no outside hint of discord. "This is a real friendly neighborhood," said one neighbor.
Knobloch, 45, a shipping company salesman, "pays attention" to his property and keeps the grass cut and seemed "very nice," another neighbor said.
Depew police, who found the 20-year-old victim bleeding profusely and lapsing in and out of consciousness on the floor between the kitchen and dinette area of his family's neat ranch house, reported smelling alcohol on the breath of both the victim and his father.
In custody Monday on first-degree assault and weapons counts for allegedly stabbing his son in the chest with an 8-inch-long carving knife, Louis A. Knobloch was "very distraught and highly emotional" when police arrived at his house, Depew Police Lt. David Gorski said.
Gorski said he couldn't comment on the case because of the pending charges. But he confirmed that the victim and his father "both had been drinking" Sunday prior to the incident. Knobloch made statements to police, Gorski said.
The family has "no history of family violence whatsoever," Gorski said.
A spokesman for the Knoblochs said family members would have no comment.
Jason Knobloch, an Erie Community College student and one of the suspect's two sons, reportedly came home sometime after 10 p.m. Sunday after a date with his long-time girlfriend and was "quite loud," waking his sleeping father, eyewitnesses told police.
The father and son got into a fist fight after Louis Knobloch got out of bed, told his son, a former Niagara University student, to be quiet, "words were exchanged," and the altercation escalated, police were told.
Gorski and Police Officer Donald Panzarella were driving to the Knobloch home to check on a report of a domestic squabble when word came over the police radio that the call had been updated to report a stabbing.
It took hours for doctors at Erie County Medical Center to stop the bleeding caused by the single knife thrust. Physicians told police they weren't sure, at first, that the victim would survive. He was listed in stable condition Monday.
The knife missed his heart and lungs, but blood had filled his lungs creating a near-fatal situation, according to police sources.