TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A woman accused of repeatedly stabbing a Taunton hospital employee in an “unprovoked” attack has been ordered held without bail.
Victoria Disharoon, 28, of Taunton, was arraigned Thursday in Taunton District Court on charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“She basically said she snapped,” Disharoon’s stepfather, Terry Parrett, said after the court hearing. “No reason, no rhyme.”
Officers responding to a reported stabbing at Morton Hospital around 1:40 p.m. spoke to the 44-year-old victim who said she was outside on a break on the North Pleasant Street side of the hospital when a woman walked up behind her, pulled her ponytail, and punched her several times in the back, police said.
After she was able to get away and report the alleged assault to a fellow employee, it was discovered that she had suffered multiple puncture wounds on her shoulders and neck from the attack, police added.
She has since been treated and released from the hospital.
The victim told police that she did not know Disharoon and that the assault appeared “completely random and unprovoked.” She was able to take a photo of Disharoon as she fled the scene on foot. Police released that photo on Wednesday, which led to multiple tips from the public and from an outside police agency.
Disharoon was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Parrett says she had long suffered from mental health issues.
“We thought that she was on the mend and could actually function in society as a productive member of society,” Parrett explained. “We didn’t see this one coming at all…Just want to let everyone know that mental illness is a real thing. It can’t be ignored.”
Disharoon told investigators that she went to the hospital in “a lot of pain” and just “lost it,” court documents indicate. She allegedly added that she used a “blade thing” and “kinda poked” the victim.
Police say Disharoon sketched a picture of the weapon she used in the attack and told then where to find it.
7NEWS has learned that the victim just started working at the hospital as a secretary two weeks ago.
“My deepest, heartfelt apologies and prayers goes out to the victim,” Parrett said. “The person did not deserve this.”
Jacqueline Fitts, Chair of the Morton Hospital Nurses Union, says safety around the facility has been a major concern for the last year.
“We have been asking administration for a year now to make the property safer, to cover the parking lot with security because there is a lot of people passing in and out of the area,” Fitts said. “Our nurses and other staff go outside for breaks.”
Fitts noted that the hospital has seen a spike in psychiatric patients and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A hospital spokesperson released a statement that read, “Morton Hospital has proactively invested significant resources in a number of visible and unseen safety and security enhancements including updated LED lighting, increased security patrols and escorts (upon request) and security camera surveillance in multiple locations within and outside the facility including parking lots, entrances, etc. As stated previously, this unfortunate and isolated incident occurred at an adjacent property. Patient and employee safety remains our top priority.”
Disharoon will be called back to court at a later date.
An investigation remains ongoing.
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