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Public Safety

Woman Attacks Police Officer With Ax in Escondido

An undated photo of a parked Escondido police cruiser.
Escondido Police Department
An undated photo of a parked Escondido police cruiser.

A woman who had been seen swinging an ax on an Escondido roadside allegedly attacked an investigating patrol officer with the tool Monday, leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The woman was eventually arrested and booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.

A witness made a 911 call just before 9 a.m. to report seeing a woman in the area of Hickory Street and Valley Parkway, hacking away at a sidewalk with the short-handled ax, according to the Escondido Police Department.

A few minutes later, a patrolman spotted the woman on Grape Street, north of Valley Parkway. As the officer drove his cruiser toward the woman, she ran into the street and struck him twice through his open driver's side window before fleeing, police said.

The lawman was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts to his left arm.

Following the attack, the suspect — later identified as 28-year-old Aleisha Strickland of Escondido — ran onto the nearby grounds of the vacant former site of Palomar Medical Center and holed up in a utility building.

Officers surrounded the structure and took the woman into custody shortly after 10 a.m., police said.