Autumn Matacchiera, a 20-year-old New Jersey woman, has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after allegedly throwing a stranger’s 5-year-old child in front of an oncoming train. The horrifying act of violence took place at roughly 8:30 p.m. on January 27, near the Burlington Town Station in New Jersey, and the 5-year-old victim was saved from serious harm by quick thinking police officers.
As Fox News reports, police were on heightened alert after a bus driver contacted a patrol officer and warned him that the then-unidentified woman was behaving suspiciously. When concerned officers approached Autumn Matacchiera, the woman allegedly snatched a 5-year-old girl from her mother and threw the child on the train tracks.
Officers who were at the scene of the alleged unprovoked assault on the child claim that Matacchiera threw the girl on the tracks as an oncoming train was approaching the station.
— infowe (@infowe) January 29, 2017
Fortunately, law enforcement officers were already approaching the scene of the unthinkable crime due to being alerted by the diligent bus driver. First responders bravely jumped in front of the oncoming train, alerting the operator to stop it so that they could get the frightened child off of the tracks.
The 5-year-old victim of Autumn Matacchiera was taken to a New Jersey hospital to be evaluated for her injuries, but as Fox 29 reports, suffered only some injuries to her face and bruising as a result of her traumatic ordeal. Burlington City police officers confirm that the victim, who was reportedly standing with her mother when she was attacked, was a complete stranger to Autumn Matacchiera.
@njdotcom until she did. Sickening. Lock her up. Poor child…smh
— Own it. (@KillerShoppingB) January 29, 2017
— ChiTown Girl ???????????? (@KristyKelly013) January 29, 2017
@NBCNewYork hope she OK.
— Ahmed Malik (@AMalik25) January 29, 2017
@AP so happy the child wasn't killed!! How awful!
— Maria De (@Rouletiquette) January 29, 2017
@starledger people are under too much stress and we need much better healthcare for everyone. When will we learn it affects us all? ????
— Margaret Gilroy♏ (@Magmaggil) January 29, 2017
While police officers were assisting the 5-year-old victim, her assailant Autumn Matacchiera was subdued by additional officers, taken into custody, and ultimately charged with attempted murder for her inexplicable actions.
As NewJersey reports, 20-year-old New Jersey woman Autumn Matacchiera was at the train station with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend when she grabbed her 5-year-old victim out of nowhere and allegedly attempted to end the girl’s life by throwing her in front of an oncoming train. According to Laura Matacchiera, Autumn’s mother, her daughter suffers from “mental health issues” and has for years.
However, according to the distraught mother of Autumn Matacchiera, the 20-year-old New Jersey woman has “never hurt anybody.” At least not before Friday evening.
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) January 29, 2017
Autumn’s mother claims that her daughter is not a criminal, but rather just mentally ill. According to Laura Matacchiera, her daughter has been repeatedly held in then released from different mental health treatment centers. Reportedly, the 20-year-old New Jersey woman’s releases came in direct opposition to her concerned family’s wishes.
“She is not a criminal. She has mental health issues. It’s an ongoing problem.”
Autumn Matacchiera has also used the Internet to communicate her own concerns about her mental health, with one poignant blog post reportedly hitting cyberspace just weeks before the New Jersey woman allegedly attacked an unidentified 5-year-old.
“”I have been in the mental health system for many years and seen some things change, [some] things stay the same. I want to help other people who are in it.”
According to Laura Matacchiera, who didn’t clarify specifically what “mental health issues” plague her daughter, the New Jersey 20-year-old has been dealing with on-and-off institutional care for at least the previous six years.
20 yr old Autumn Matacchiera arrested after throwing 5 yr girl in front of NJ TRANSIT Light Rail Train, recvd Non-Life Threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/hNz9eAa1bx
— Burl City PD (NJ) (@BurlCityPDNJ) January 28, 2017
Despite defending her daughter and asserting that Autumn is “not a criminal,” Laura Matacchiera had some kind words to share about Autumn’s 5-year-old alleged attempted murder victim.
“We as parents are thankful she’s okay.”
She also vows that she is taking the alleged murder attempt seriously, even though she doesn’t think that her 20-year-old daughter is a criminal.
“We as parents are not making light of this.”
While Autumn Matacchiera was arrested and charged with attempted murder on Friday, the New Jersey woman is reportedly currently at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, where she was reportedly sent to have her mental health evaluated following her alleged crime.
[Featured Image by Burlington City Police Department]