The Phoenix woman escapes a suspected ax suspect with the help of a stranger

Jogger escapes the ax-wielding man; Suspect arrested

The incident appears to be a random and unprovoked attack, according to police.

Thanks to a stranger, a Phoenix woman narrowly escaped an assailant with an ax. Now the two share their stories.

The victim, identified as Gina Hopkins-Calligan, was jogging on 7th Avenue in Central Phoenix last week when a man suddenly started chasing her with an ax.

“He just screamed. He galloped towards me with the ax, so ready to chop me to pieces, he looked determined to kill me,” said Hopkins-Calligan. “I just screamed and waved my arms. I probably looked like a crazy person.”

In a panic, Hopkins-Calligan says she tried to seek help from a driver on a busy road, but only one person stopped.

“She said something to me and pulled into this street and let me in her car,” Hopkins told Calligan.

This Good Samaritan was identified as Emily Regester, who was on her way to class that morning.

“I saw an argument. It was dark so I wanted to make sure she was okay, so I turned around and met her, asked if she was okay. She said no. So she got in the car and we did called 911 “said Regester.

According to police records, officials found 25-year-old Joshua Eicher still in the area with an ax in his possession.

Hopkins-Calligan says she attributes her escape to the friendly stranger who stopped to help.

“She absolutely saved herself, I would say,” said Regester. “She is a very fast runner.”

Police describe Eicher as a homeless addict, and the attack appears to be accidental and unprovoked.

“It’s scary to think what if it wasn’t me? What if this was an older person who couldn’t run away from him?” said Hopkins-Calligan.

Eicher is in prison and is attacked with a deadly weapon.

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