A New Jersey woman was arrested after allegedly grabbing a five-year-old girl from her mother and pushing the child onto the tracks as a train was nearing the station, police said Saturday.
Witnesses say Autumn Matacchiera, 20, unexpectedly grabbed the child and threw her on the tracks on the evening of Friday, January 27. Police were able to stop the oncoming train before it hit the child, the Courier-Post reported.
The incident occurred at the NJ Transit Light Rail station in Burlington City, New Jersey, a town between Trenton and Philadelphia. Police were called by a Transit officer who thought Matacchiera was acting strangely and, just as officers arrived, the suspect grabbed the child and threw her onto the tracks.
Matacchiera reportedly did not know the child or her parents and had no interaction with them before assaulting the child.
The girl was treated for cuts and bruises and released, officials reported on Saturday.
Matacchiera was immediately arrested and charged with attempted murder and “taken to Lourdes Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.”
On her social media pages, the suspect has reported that she suffers from mental disorders, including “Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar, and Anxiety.”
In a January 12 blog post, Matacchiera says, “I have been in the mental health system for many years and seen some things change things stay the same. I want to help other people who are in it. So, this is why I’m writing this.”
In her lengthy post, Matacchiera goes on to criticize the New Jersey mental health system.
The City of Burlington reminds travelers to keep an eye out for crimes and to report anything suspicious by calling 911 or the NJ Transit Police Communications Center at 1-800-242-0236 or 973-378-6565.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.