COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah, March 21, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A woman waving a hatchet stepped in front of an ambulance late Sunday afternoon, stopping it in its tracks in rush hour traffic, police say.
When the ambulance tried to move around her, she moved to block it, said Unified Police Department Sgt. Jeremy Nelson, threatening the ambulance directly with the weapon.
“She eventually let it pass, then tried to skedaddle when we arrived on the scene.”
The woman also allegedly threatened a witness with the small axe, Nelson said, adding to the charges for which she was booked into jail.
“It was 5:45 p.m. on Fort Union Boulevard and there were lots of cars backed up,” Nelson said of the incident at 2300 East.
In addition to the second-degree felony aggravated assault charge of brandishing the hand-axe at an individual, the woman faces a felony count of a pedestrian interfering with an emergency vehicle, and multiple misdemeanors.
“She just told us her life was over and she had nothing to live for,” Nelson said of the woman he described as in her 30s, although he said policy would not allow him to release further detail about her. “There are mental health issues involved.”
She was also carrying a bullwhip and a large Rambo-style knife.
The sergeant said it wasn’t known if the delay of the ambulance for up to five minutes had any affect on treatment delivery on the call to which it was responding.
The woman has been homeless for possibly two years, Nelson said. She has become well known to the Cottonwood Heights precinct of the UPD in recent weeks on lesser incidents such as trespassing and disorderly conduct, he said.
The woman also frequently bangs on the doors at the apartment complex from which she was last evicted, he added.
The woman and her boyfriend were arrested last weekend, Nelson said, on an incident that also included weapons charges, although there were no injuries. The pair were found to have matching hatchets and knives at the time, Nelson said.
If you are in Salt Lake County and are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, please call the Homeless Connections Hotline at 801-990-9999 to be connected with emergency shelter options and other helpful community resources.