Criminal proceedings were suspended Friday after doubt was declared about the mental competency of an Arizona woman who allegedly stabbed a mother who was targeted while playing with her children near an Azusa park earlier this month.
Brianna Hallquist, 23, described by authorities as a transient from Phoenix, was initially charged May 13 with one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats. Prosecutors subsequently added an attempted murder charge against Hallquist.
The attack occurred about 8 p.m. May 11 near Edwards Park, in the 600 block of North Azusa Avenue. Officers sent to the park on a report of an assault with a deadly weapon found the victim with a stab wound to her upper body.
The victim “told officers that she was … playing (in the park) with her two minor age children” when “a female adult approached the children and began looking at them as they played,” according to an Azusa police statement. “The victim became nervous and immediately left the park with her children and began to walk southbound on Azusa Avenue. The female caught up to the victim and her children and demanded that the victim `give me my daughter back.”’
According to police, the suspect threatened to harm the victim if she did not return “her daughter,” and then stabbed the mother in the upper body. Bystanders came to the injured woman’s aid and called police, and the suspect ran off but was quickly arrested in the area, police said.
The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries described as non-life-threatening. The children, who were unharmed, were released at the scene to their father, police said.
Hallquist was arrested by Azusa police within less than an hour and has remained behind bars since then.