An East Boston woman was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation during her Thursday arraignment after she allegedly stabbed an on-duty EMT multiple times in an ambulance Wednesday evening.
Authorities say they’re also looking into whether or not Julie Tejeda, 31, is a suspect in recent threats to airports, according to The Boston Globe.
During her arraignment, Tejeda was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault on a public employee, and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous chemical, according to a news release from Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office. Tejeda is being held without bail, and is scheduled to return to court on July 31.
The ambulance was transporting Tejeda around 4 p.m. near Boston’s Edward Brooke Courthouse when the attack occurred, according to James Hooley, Boston Emergency Medical Services chief. The ambulance driver pulled over, and Tejeda allegedly pulled out pepper spray.
The stabbed EMT underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital Wednesday, according to Boston EMS. She was awake and recovering, and WCVB reports that she is expected to survive. A second EMT was also brought to the hospital for exposure to the pepper spray.
— Boston EMS (@BOSTON_EMS) July 11, 2019
Of the connection to the airport incidents, Rollins said law enforcement knew of Tejeda before the stabbing, according to the Globe. One of the threats was reportedly made Tuesday to the airport on Martha’s Vineyard, WCVB reports. The threat to that airport was called in at 6:04 a.m., according to MassLive; the number was traced to a Massachusetts number.
“I am certainly confirming that there were threats to airports that occurred, and that we are looking into those, and that these two incidents might be related,” Rollins said, as reported by the Globe.
In a show of support for their injured colleagues, dozens of Boston EMTs showed up to the courthouse for the arraignment. Multiple videos from the scene show them filing into the courthouse and mulling around while waiting for the court proceedings to begin.
RIGHT NOW: Dozens of @BOSTON_EMS employees just walked into the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, where a psychiatric patient accused of attacking two EMTs yesterday will face a judge later today. #NBC10Boston #NECN pic.twitter.com/pHXIcBw9E0
— Mike Manzoni NBC10 Boston (@MikeNBCBoston) July 11, 2019
— Eli Rosenberg NBC10 Boston (@EliNBCBoston) July 11, 2019
Long line of Boston EMTs @BOSTON_EMS inside Boston Municipal Court waiting for the arraignment of 31-year-old Julie Tejeda, who is accused of stabbing an EMT inside the back of an ambulance yesterday. @wbz pic.twitter.com/3kwAifLtxJ
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) July 11, 2019
“First and foremost, I’m grateful that the EMT who was violently attacked is recovering today; my thoughts and those of my Office are with her and her family,” Rollins said in the release. “I also want to thank her fellow first responder, whose brave and swift actions likely saved his colleague’s life, even as he was assaulted himself. The work that both EMTs did yesterday was extraordinary in courage, but utterly ordinary for first responders, who put their safety on the line every day that they put on their uniform and go to work. We owe them our profound appreciation.”