A Riverside County man is in jail today after stabbing a toddler in the neck as his family struggled with a flat tire on the side of a freeway.
Nicholas Lopez Garcia was arraigned Wednesday and potentially faces life in prison after he stabbed the 18-month-old toddler in the neck with a broken plastic freeway marker. He pleaded not guilty.
Monday morning at 1:20 a.m., a woman and her family of five were broken down on the side of I-215 in Menifee, Riverside. That’s where 44-year-old Nicolas Garcia from Sun City found them.
After spotting the stranded family, Garcia allegedly ran across the freeway and attacked them. Garcia broke the side window of the family’s Mazda hatchback and then walked to the rear of the car and broke their back window with a broken freeway marker, according to ABC 10 News.
The hard plastic pipe-shaped marker is basically a plastic knife.
He lunged for the toddler and started to stab him and tried to pull him out of the car, but the four adults in the car fought him off.
During the fight, Garcia also stabbed the toddler’s mother, father, and the other two adults in the car, according to the Contra Costa Times.
After they fought Garcia off, the family jumped in the car and sped away while calling 911, leaving their stuff lying on the side of the road.
The toddler was injured with cuts to the neck. The child was rushed to an Inland Valley Medical Center and is stable and not reported to be in any danger. He and his mother were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
After the family drove away, Garcia set fire to the things they left behind on the side of the road as they were changing the tire and that’s where California Highway Patrol found him.
A burned baby book is still there.
Garcia resisted officer’s attempts to arrest him, so they Tasered him, according to LAist.
He is facing charges of attempted murder, child cruelty, resisting arrest, and being under the influence. He is currently in custody with $1 million in bail.
No one knows why he attacked the family in such a bizarre and brazen manner, although investigators said he was the under the influence of some type of drug, according to NBC Los Angeles.
This hasn’t been the best year for toddlers.
Earlier this month a Pennsylvania man slammed a toddler to death while mimicking a wrestling move.
At about the same time, a Nebraska toddler was found in a trash dumpster wearing only a diaper.
In April, a Washington toddler was shot in the head and died during a road rage incident.
Meanwhile, in California, a man was arrested after a security video showing him punching a toddler in the face went viral.
[Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images]