An Arizona man has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault after allegedly stabbing a woman to death following a car crash on a freeway.
The car driven by Fernando Acosta flew through an embankment off the Loop 101 freeway in Peoria and into a fence at around 7 a.m. on March 22. Acosta and his passenger, Martha Thy, were seen by witnesses arguing on the side of the road in the wake of the wreck. Then, after brandishing a knife, Acosta stabbed Thy multiple times — both in the car and on the ground after she crawled out of the vehicle in desperation, according to a probable cause statement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Several bystanders, including Gustavo Muñoz, attempted to intervene. He called for help after seeing the violence unfold.
“I ran towards the vehicle, and when I got to the other side of the ditch the man comes out with a knife. Hands full of blood. [His] face, body was filled with blood,” said Muñoz to ABC 15 of Phoenix, Arizona. “The guys that were there, they got their gun so we could try to scare him. One man fired shots at the ground to see if he would drop the knife and stop stabbing the lady that was in the vehicle.”
Eventually, a group tackled the suspect and wrestled the knife from his grasp, then held him down until police arrived on the scene.
Trooper Kameron Lee recalled the chaos of the incident.
"People everywhere, some screaming, yelling going on, so you can only imagine what an officer's feeling when he arrives on scene and all he sees are people running around," Lee told ABC 15.
Thy was rushed to Banner Thunderbird Hospital where she was pronounced dead. She suffered 20 deep cuts to her face, upper torso, and body.
Acosta's motive for the alleged attack is unclear. The Arizona Department of Public Safety's police report says that Acosta and Thy were a couple that lived together, according to AZ Family.
Acosta is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond and will next appear in court on March 29, according to AZ Central.
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