Grand Rapids mom: Suspect had ‘no reason’ to stab son

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The mom of the Grand Rapids boy, who was allegedly attacked at random and stabbed multiple times, is sharing their horrifying story to News 8.

Yariel Suarez, who will turn 12 Sunday, has been released from the hospital after police say a stranger tried to kill him with a utility knife early Thursday morning at the Walnut Grove Apartments on Sheffield Street SW near Hayden Street.

Yariel’s mom, Yahira Suarez, was in the next room.

“I was literally in a deep sleep, and his screams woke me up,” Yahira Suarez said.

Suarez then rushed to her son’s room to see what was wrong.

“I turned on the light and there was just blood everywhere, blood in his face, it was just like it was a crime scene or something,” she said.

The alleged attacker was already gone, and her son was rushed to the hospital.

“He stabbed him 10 times,” Yahira said. “Four times in the back of the head and I want to say four times all around his face. One (stab) was so hard that the knife broke in his mouth.”

Denny McNees
A Feb. 6, 2020, mug shot of Denny McNees.

Hours later, police arrested Denny McNees, who was charged Friday with assault with intent to commit murder and first-degree home invasion. His bond was set at $500,000. He is expected back in court on Feb. 18 for a hearing.

Yahira said police told her McNees confessed.

“He had no reason whatsoever. He said ‘I just felt like killing,’” Yahira said. “He went door to door, and he was trying to open doors and my backdoor happened to be the door he was able to get in and that was it. He chose my son.”

Yahira and her son are staying with family as they begin to heal from the trauma.

“This just changed me forever,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe. I don’t know how many locks I’ll put on my door. I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe, ever again.”

Yariel has high functioning autism, so his mom said it’s hard to really know how he is processing the pain.

“The only time he ever mentioned it was when we were at the hospital and he for the first time looked at himself in the mirror and he kind of just stood there and said ‘Was it the bad man that did it?’” she said

His mom says this is a crime that demands justice. 

“(Yariel) is the most innocent person and the most loving person, and he damaged that,” Yahira Suarez said. 

A GoFundMe account has been created to support the family.

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