Source: The Columbian News
Friday, April 21, 2006
By Kelly Adams, Columbian staff writer
Anna E. Svidersky was a busy 17-year-old: two jobs, a full slate of classes at Fort Vancouver High School, lots of plans for the future. But on a break during her evening shift at McDonald’s Thursday night, all that was taken away.
That’s when police say David Barton Sullivan, 28, walked in and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife.
Svidersky was going to be 18 next Wednesday. She planned to go to the prom in May, graduate from Fort Vancouver in June, and go to college. Mike Block, 20, her friend and co-worker had plans to get together over the weekend.
Instead, he will be starting the long recovery from witnessing the stabbing that took Svidersky’s life.
She was sitting at one of the tables in the dining room at about 8 p.m. when a man walked in and plunged a knife in her side, Block said.
“The guy walked in out of nowhere,” Block said. “He didn’t say anything.”
The suspect was gone less than two minutes later.
Block went after the man, watching him toss the knife near the Texaco service station on Fourth Plain Boulevard and run out into traffic. He was almost to state Highway 500 when the police arrived. Block pointed him out then led them back to where he had dropped the weapon.
Block had never seen the suspect before and didn’t think Svidersky had ever seen him before.
“She was a nice person, she wasn’t mean to anybody,” he said. “She was a good friend.”
Mason O’Lennick, 20, of Vancouver had been friends with Svidersky for about four months, meeting her through his sister. On Monday, they went shopping for a prom dress. A petite 5 foot 2, Svidersky had a hard time finding a dress that was small enough.
“She couldn’t find one that fit her,” O’Lennick said. “I thought they all looked wonderful on her.”
He first heard about the stabbing on the 10 p.m. news before the name of the victim was released. O’Lennick struggled to remember his friend’s work schedule.
“I was initially begging it was not her,” he said.
While O’Lennick was watching the news accounts, he got a call confirming the victim was Svidersky. His first thought was: “She’s so little and so young.”
As the shock was subsiding, O’Lennick remembered a creative young woman with “a wonderful sense of humor.”
“She told a lot of jokes and was very off-the-wall at the same time,” he said.
Svidersky started working at the restaurant in October 2004, most recently a crew person, a member of the staff that serves the public from behind the counter, said Julie Edwards, a McDonald’s spokeswoman in Portland.
Matt Hadwin, owner and operator of the restaurant, tended to his customers and staff Friday, doing what he could to temper the shock of losing a popular worker under such traumatic circumstances.
On Friday, Hadwin made a point to chat with teens who stopped by. He struck a quiet, reassuring tone, letting them know they were safe and welcome. At one point Friday afternoon, he approached a group of six teens who had been eating. They listened somberly, one girl wearing a sweatshirt with Russian letters.
Hadwin didn’t talk to reporters but issued a statement.
“We are shocked and saddened by this random act of violence against one of our employees,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”
On Friday, Hadwin lowered the U.S. flag outside the store to half-staff.
Added: April 23, 2006
Source: KATU (ABC News)
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The man accused of stabbing a teenage girl while she was working at a Vancouver McDonald’s restaurant was arraigned in court on Friday.
The teenager, 17-year-old Anna E. Svidersky, was taken to the hospital after the stabbing, but she later died.
David Barton Sullivan, 28, is accused of stabbing Svidersky and was arraigned Friday on a charge of first-degree murder.
Police were called to the fast food restaurant in the 2800 block of Northeast Andresen just after 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Police say it appears that the suspect entered the restaurant around 8 p.m. while the victim was in the eating area. It is unclear if she was working at the time or was on a break.
Police did not disclose any details about the attack, but were able to recover the weapon used in the crime, which was described as a kitchen knife.
Police located the suspect, David Sullivan, walking along Andresen Street a short distance from the McDonald’s. He was taken into custody without incident.
During a news conference Friday morning, Sullivan was described as a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender with a criminal history that includes an assault charge in 2001.
Police say he also spent time in a Washington state facility for mental illness, but he was not currently on probation or parole.
The restaurant was closed after the incident and a police chaplain counseled employees who had remained on the scene.
An employee who says she worked the night shift at the restaurant says there was usually no trouble with customers after dark.
Vancouver Police say they do not believe the suspect and the victim knew each other or were associated in any way.
Added: April 23, 2006