SALEM, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – A man suspected of slashing a student on a Salem State College shuttle bus, then stabbing the driver when he came to her aid, had been in contact with campus police recently over concerns about his state of mind, campus police said Thursday.
Campus police spoke to Timothy Wells, 25, of Woburn, earlier this month after he was arrested by city police when he was found on an under-construction football field with a 4-inch folding knife, Chief Gene Labonte said.
Wells, a senior at Salem State, is currently on a voluntary leave of absence, Labonte said.
He faces two counts of attempted murder stemming from the knife attack Wednesday morning that left the victims with superficial injuries. The driver was taken to a hospital while the woman was treated at the scene.
There is no known connection between Wells and the injured student, the chief said.
The assailant got off the bus and into parked car, then drove away, police said. The college canceled classes for the rest of the day and a nearby elementary school went into lockdown amid fear that the suspect might return to campus.
New York State Police responding to reports of a disabled vehicle on the Taconic State Parkway in Chatham, N.Y., just after 8 p.m. Wednesday interviewed the driver and identified him as Wells. Chatham is close to the Massachusetts state line.
"The trooper noted that Wells was easily agitated and was inconsistent while speaking with the trooper," according to the police report.
He was placed under arrest on a fugitive from justice charge.
Wells was arraigned by the Town of Livingston Justice Court and remanded to Columbia County Jail without bail, pending extradition.
It was not clear when he would be returned to Massachusetts or if he had hired a lawyer.
Statement from New York State Police:
Chatham, New York – On September 25, 2013, at approximately 8:12 p.m., State Police from the New Lebanon barracks were dispatched to assist a stranded motorist who had reportedly broken down on the Taconic State Parkway. State Troopers arrived on scene and interviewed the operator of the vehicle, identified as Timothy G. Wells, 25 years old, from Woburn, Massachusetts. The trooper noted that Wells was easily agitated and was inconsistent while speaking with the trooper.
Investigation revealed that Wells was wanted by the Salem State University Police Department for an incident that occurred earlier that day. Wells allegedly stabbed a female Salem State University student on a college shuttle bus and when the bus driver intervened, he was also attacked by the assailant. Following the incident, the University and surrounding public schools were placed in lockdown.
Wells was wanted for two counts of Attempted Murder. Wells was taken into custody at 10:00 p.m. and Charged with Fugitive from Justice, a Class E Felony. Columbia County District Attorney's office was consulted by troopers and requested remand with no bail.
Wells was arraigned by the Town of Livingston Justice Court and remanded to Columbia County Jail without bail, pending extradition to Massachusetts.