Stabbing suspect charged as adult

A Fort Dodge teenager accused of stabbing another teen during the Fort Dodge Senior High homecoming dance has been charged as an adult in the case.

Max A. Bly, 17, of Fort Dodge, has been charged with willful injury, a Class C felony. He is accused of stabbing another teenager in the back Saturday night at the FDSH dance. Family friends identified the victim as Lucas Fiala, 17, of Knierim.

Fiala, a senior at Manson Northwest Webster High School, was initially taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center, but then airlifted to a Des Moines hospital for additional treatment.

Amy Varcoe, a spokeswoman for UnityPoint Des Moines, said Fiala was in serious condition Monday afternoon.

Bly appeared in front of Magistrate Steve Kersten for his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court Monday morning.

Reading from the criminal complaint, Kersten told Bly, who appeared in the courtroom in handcuffs, that he’s alleged to have stabbed Fiala with a “fold-in knife” and intended to cause serious injury. Kersten went on to say that Fiala suffered from internal injuries as a result of the incident, and added the punishment for willful injury can be up to 10 years in prison.

When asked about bond, Assistant Webster County Attorney Jordan Brackey recommended that Bly be held in jail “given the nature of the offense.”

“Although Mr. Bly is under 18, the state is asking for bond,” Brackey told the judge.

Kersten agreed with the recommendation, and set Bly’s bond at $10,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 17.

Fort Dodge Police responded to FDSH around 10:50 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report that there had been a stabbing. When officers arrived, they found school officials providing first aid to Fiala. Bly had allegedly left the scene by the time officers arrived, but he was arrested a short time later.

In light of the incident, the Fort Dodge school system is taking a look at their policies that are in place and trying to determine what should be changed.

Jennifer Lane, director of communications for the Fort Dodge Community School District, said safety is a top priority for the school.

“The staff who were present at the dance Saturday night will hold a debriefing session where they review what happened and what information they have,” Lane said. “We can determine if there’s something we can put in place to prevent this from happening again.”

Lane said the school does have policies in place to make sure incidents don’t happen at school functions.

“We have chaperones and we have Fort Dodge Police officers in place at the dance,” she said. “Bags are checked if students are bringing bags to the dance. Students who have any type of mark against our good conduct policy typically are not allowed to attend extra-curricular school functions.”

However, Lane added that the school is limited to what they can do.

“We don’t pat down students, we don’t do body searches,” she said. “Unfortunately, this student made a decision to bring something to a dance maybe he shouldn’t have and acted upon whatever influenced him to make the choice to harm someone. From our perspective, I don’t know how much more we could have done.”

“It’s a sad circumstance,” Lane added. “We’ll work to do everything we can to prevent something like that from ever happening again.”