WILDOMAR (CBSLA.com) — The family attacked and stabbed by a man while they changed a tire on the 215 Freeway is speaking out about their ordeal.
A Romoland man is in custody after police say he stabbed an infant and attacked family members with a broken piece of a plastic freeway marker.
Nicholas Lopez Garcia, 44, is behind bars after officers say he ran up to the family and attacked them on the freeway just south of Newport Road in Menifee on Monday, May 11.
According to investigators, the suspect began stabbing the 18-month-old boy in his neck and tried pulling the child in a car seat out of the vehicle.
KCAL9’s Jennifer Kastner reports that 18-month old Abel now has seven stitches under his ear.
His mother — Charlene Roberts — has stab wounds and bruises across her back and arm.
The car they were riding in when the alleged attack took place is covered in shattered glass.
“Every attack, every hit,” says Roberts, “was meant for the baby. It wasn’t meant for us. He was trying to kidnap the child. And who knows what he would have done with him after that.”
Family members tried valiantly to pull Carcia back and away from Abel, but they told Kastner he kept swinging.
After Garcia allegedly broke out windows, Roberts covered the baby as best she could with her body.
“I’m trying to protect [the baby] but I’m looking at [Garcia] face-to-face,” Roberts says, “Cause he was in the car.”
They still have the car seat with the slash markings.
Roberts says Garcia then pulled out a bottle of gasoline and started dumping it all over the backseat and that he was also able to pull out some matches.
Roberts’ brother James St Clair says Garcia started to light the car on fire.
“This guy was out of his mind,” St. Clair said. “He was just frantically screaming at us, yelling, not coherent at all.”
Without the spare tire yet on, they hopped into the vehicle hit the gas and took off.
Arriving officers reportedly used a stun gun on Garcia before arresting him. They believe he was high on drugs.
Roberts says she could see it in his eyes.