Authorities say a Florida couple called out the name of their son as he violently stabbed them earlier this week, another incident among several in recent years of teens attacking family members in the Jacksonville area.
The 16-year-old suspect, Raylan Wagner, is charged with aggravated battery in connection with the stabbings at the family’s apartment in the Chimney Lakes community, WJXT-TV reports.
Police told the news station that at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, the boy began stabbing his parents in the neck and head while they were sleeping, the Florida Times-Union reports.
They managed to fight off Wagner, who escaped the residence.
A witness reportedly heard the parents, a 45-year-old father and 43-year-old mother, call Wagner by his name around the time of the alleged attack.
Both victims were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police later found the teen with scratches on his legs shortly before 11 a.m. at a nearby church, according to police records obtained by the newspaper.
Wade Rolle, Wagner’s lawyer, said the parents are worried about their son, WJXT-TV reports.
“They are praying for the son at this point. They are asking that the community pray for him as well,” Rolle said.
“They love their child. It’s not about forgiveness. They know that was not their child. Something went wrong.”
Wagner is a student at Paxon School for Advanced Studies and plays baseball, according to the television station.
The stabbing, Rolle said, is not consistent with his normal personality.
“This is not indicative of the child’s background, the child’s progress in life, where the child has been educationally or the child’s history,” Rolle said.
“There’s been no history of criminal conduct.”
While the stabbing may be unusual for Wagner, it is not for the Jacksonville area, where several other teens are awaiting trial on charges of violence toward their family members.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, shortly before Thanksgiving, prosecutors charged 15-year-old Logan Mott with second-degree murder in the death of his 53-year-old grandmother, Kristina French.
Mott is accused of stabbing and shooting French to death and then burying her body in his Neptune Beach backyard.
He then drove to New York State, where Border Patrol agents caught him as he was trying to enter Canada.
Mott has pleaded not guilty.
In November 2016, Dylan Nicholas Broughman allegedly murdered his 69-year-old grandmother in her home after she hid his beer. He has a hearing scheduled for this month.
And in another case, 14-year-old Mitchell Evan Daughtry is accused of stabbing his mother to death in August 2015. His case also has a hearing coming up.
[Feature image: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office/Raylan Wagner]