SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) — A man who was accused of stabbing a woman who was walking around the National Historic Site Trail in Fort Smith on Wednesday (Aug. 30) has been charged with attempted murder.
Elijah Reed, 26, of Fort Smith, was charged with first degree attempted murder and kidnapping, both felonies, according to a release from prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue.
Reed is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.
Police received a call about the attack at about 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. National Historic Site personnel found the woman who was identified as Anong Wendy Chantsavongsy, 44.
According to Grubbs she is in stable condition at a local hospital after she was stabbed 15 times.
Park employees found the woman during a perimeter check and were able to get her help, said Lisa Fost, superintendent with the National Park Service.
Chantsavongsy's family said she was originally on a ventilator but it has since been removed. They said she is awake and communicating.
During an interview with Fort Smith police, Reed admitted to chasing down Chantsavongsy and stabbing her in the back of her neck, head and back, according to arrest documents.
“This seems like a complete random attack,” said Grubbs, “In a statement he made he said he just felt like she looked at him the wrong way.”
Melissa Vitale is the Owner of True Grit Running Company on Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith. She runs about four times a week and heads a local running club and volunteers with Women Run Arkansas. Vitale heard of the stabbing and said while Fort Smith trails are usually safe, there are a few tips runners can use in similar situations.
"Typically for safety we recommend doing it in groups." Vitale said. "If you're more of a music buff and you like to music, make sure you keep your head phones turned down or only have one of them in so you can hear what's going on around you. Or, flat out learn to run without it. I do carry stun guns and things like pepper spray in my store. That's an option. Just paying attention to where you are. Making eye contact with someone and just recognizing that they are there by saying, 'Hey. I see you,' a lot of times will deter attackers."