Point Defiance stabbing suspect told victim 'you need to meet your maker' during random attack: docs

The man accused of randomly stabbing a woman walking along a Point Defiance Park trail said he attacked her because he believed she was a "pedophile" and that she needed "to meet [her] maker," according to new court documents released.

On February 10, a woman was stabbed multiple times by an unknown man in the park on a trail at 5-Mile Drive. She was found with stab wounds to her head, neck, back and cheek. 

Bystanders were able to step in and kick the suspect, stopping the attack from going further. 

"We weren’t sure what we were hearing, and so we started walking towards it," they said after hearing a woman yell "Someone help me!"

"As we got closer, there was a man straddling a woman on the trail," said the witness said.

"Initially, my first thought when I ran up was ‘just get his attention on me, get his attention off of her and onto me,’" said the woman.

The couple told FOX 13 that the man was bent over the woman on the side of the trail with her body partially in the brush. Once he made a motion, as if he would stab her again, they knew they had to jump in and take action. 

The suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Nicholas Matthew, ran off.

Witnesses describe the attack

The victim told officers that the suspect was walking "uncomfortably close behind her." She stopped and offered to let him pass, but he laughed and declined the offer, according to court documents. Moments later, she felt him come up from behind and attack her. 

One of the bystanders recalled approaching the attacker and saying," Hey man, don't do this." 

According to court documents, Matthew allegedly said, "She's a pedophile, I can't let her live." 

Prosecutors told FOX 13 that there was no truth to that statement. 

The suspect continued to accuse her of being a pedophile and said she would pay for what she had done.

During the assault, the suspect told the victim to "tilt her head back so she wouldn't be in pain anymore" and told her "soon you won’t feel any pain… you need to meet your maker," court documents said.  


Tacoma attack victim fights back, shares her story: 'His intent was to kill me'

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Hunt for a suspect

A witness contacted law enforcement the day of the attack to say that she had taken a photo of the trail, and in the background, a man matching the suspect description is seen. She took the photo about 20 minutes before the attack.

Tacoma Police were unable to locate the suspect after the stabbing, and later released a sketch of the suspect on social media.

After releasing the sketch, officers sent the victim's blood-stained jeans, among other items, to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for DNA analysis. 

Once the results came back, the DNA profile matched that of Nicholas Matthew. 

Detectives learned the identity of the suspect, and learned he fled Washington to Atlanta, Georgia.

After a Tacoma detective flew to Atlanta, police learned that the suspect was then trying to flee the United States.

Tacoma Police say the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Office of the Federal Marshall's Fugitive Task Force intercepted the suspect as he was trying to leave the country.

Locally, officers served a search warrant at Matthew's Federal Way apartment. They didn't find him there but they saw an eviction notice on his door (his belongings were still inside the apartment) and a neighbor noted seeing dried blood on his yellow car. "There appeared to be a significant amount of dried blood droplets and smears in nearly every room," court documents said.

Matthew is now being held in a California correctional facility at San Mateo County Jail, awaiting extradition to Washington state.

He is being charged with first-degree attempted murder and being held on no bail. 

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